Everyone at one time or another has felt depressed, sad, or blue. Feeling depressed is a normal reaction to loss, life's struggles, or an injured self-esteem. But sometimes the feeling of sadness becomes intense, lasting for long periods of time and accompanied by other physical symptoms (such as low energy, disrupted sleep, and appetite changes) that prevent a person from leading a normal life. This is clinical depression, a mental illness that, if left untreated, can worsen, lasting for years and causing untold suffering, and possibly even result in suicide. It is important to recognize the signs of depression and seek help if you or your loved one is exhibiting depressionsymptoms.
Symptoms of clinical (or major) depression can include:
Did You Know?
Under the Affordable Care Act, many health insurance plans will cover preventive mental health services, including screening tests for depression and alcohol misuse, at no cost to you. Learn more.