Depression

Depression causes severe, negative changes in the way you think and feel which makes it difficult to manage day-to-day tasks and activities such working, sleeping, and/or eating. Many people with depression feel numb, sad, alone, and/or like life has no meaning. Some people will only have one depressive episode in their lifetime, but for many people depression recurs and episodes can last up to several years if untreated. Episodes of depression may occur with or following stressful events, physical illnesses, trauma, loss, major transitions and financial stress. They can also happen for no discernable “reason.” It can be constant, or it can come and go with time, events, or seasons. Depression is treatable.

Each person is unique, and should explore their options and select for themselves the most effective coping mechanisms for dealing with depression. That being said, many people have found successful treatment for depression through things like support groups, medication, psychotherapy, exercise, spiritual and indigenous approaches to healing, and herbal supplements.

Young adults aged 18–25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older

National Alliance on Mental Illness

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Author William Styron described depression as a “kind of numbness, an enervation, an odd fragility—as if my body had actually become frail, hypersensitive, and somehow disjointed and clumsy.”

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

Thoughts:

A person with depression might think things like:

  • “I am having so much trouble getting out of bed – and not just because I’m tired… there just isn’t any point.”
  • “The things I used to enjoy doing feel boring and insignificant to me.”
  • “I don’t feel like I have the energy to interact with people anymore.”

Feelings:

A person with depression might feel:

  • Numbness
  • Apathy
  • Sadness
  • Exhausted (or, can’t sleep)

The earlier that treatment for depression can begin, the more effective it is

National Institute of Mental Health

Additional Resources

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Educational resources and support offering informational brochures, podcasts and wellness tools and checklists. Provides links to peer support groups and many personal stories. Includes an Advocacy Center and volunteer opportunities. Go to site
The Blurt Foundation UK based charity dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of depression. They offer regular podcasts, 'Buddy Boxes' that offer self-care tips and regularly posted blogs. Might be most well known for their 2016 #WhatYouDontSee social media campaign, aimed at starting the discussion around depression. Go to site
Time to Change Led by UK charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, Time to Change is a youth focused anti-stigma campaign informing and supporting individuals struggling with a number of mental health issues. Their blog collection is impressive, posted regularly, and offers a supportive environment for those living with depression and OCD. Go to site
The Trevor Project Crisis intervention and suicide prevention lifeline for LGBTQ youth, including a secure instant messaging and text service. Leading in LGBTQ suicide and advocacy, The Trevor Project offers a large social network and valuable resources for youth and adults. Go to site
Anxiety and Depression Association of America Links and advice on treatment options, with a database to search the therapist nearest you (in 13 different countries). Provides brief overviews and facts of Anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD and related illnesses, with links to news and research articles. Offers a membership for researchers and professionals to network, share research and promote practices. Go to site
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) For support and family help, with a network through communities around the U.S. for individuals and families struggling with mental health challenges. Contains articles aimed at helping people find resources, get help, and connect with those in similar situations and includes online discussion groups. Offer a number of ways to get involved including NAMI Walks, awareness events and campus groups. Also offer various support groups for grief and bereavement in different areas of the U.S.  Go to site
Half of Us Created by the Jed Foundation and MTV-U, this college-aged specific website was created because half of all college students say they have been so depressed they couldn't function at some point during the last school year. The site offers facts around depression, tips for taking action, helping a friend, and finding resources for those experiencing depression, anxiety, and body image issues. It includes text and call lines for immediate assistance and a number of videos from college-aged students as well as celebrities who share their experiences and tips for coping. Go to site
Mental Health America Leading nonprofit providing mental health support, recovery and advocacy. Have a number of resources specific to school and workplace wellness and extensive policy and advocacy information. Their prevention campaign, B4Stage4 encourages mental health screenings and statistics to change the way we think about mental health.  Go to site
National Institute of Mental Health Extensive information and research transforming the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses for prevention, recovery, and cure. Offers health information specific to age and gender. Go to site
Depression Marathon Inspirational personal blog detailing everyday struggles of a health professional and runner, who has been blogging since 2008. Topics are wide-ranging and easily relatable, putting a personal face on depression and improving the understanding and treatment of the illness. Go to site
To Write Love on Her Arms A movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for those struggling with depression, addiction, and suicidal thoughts. TWLOHA offers frequent blog posts that encourage hope through personal stories and host national campaigns and events. Also have a comprehensive resource section providing information on services in the US, Canada, Australia and UK. Go to site
SAMHSA: Understanding Depression for Young Adults + Caregiver For young adults: This information sheet gives you facts on living with depression, discusses causes and treatment approaches, and provides a list of helpful resources. For caregivers: This sheet caregivers with a general overview of depression in youth and young adults, gives guidance on how to provide support, and highlights recommended treatment approaches. Includes a list of helpful resources. Go to site
Crisis Text Line Crisis Text Line is a United States not-for-profit organization providing free crisis intervention via SMS message. The organization's services are available 24 hours a day every day, throughout the US by texting 741741. Go to site

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