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Depression is a common illness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 19 million Americans suffer from clinical depression each year. And anyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or socioeconomic status, can suffer from depression. As with other illnesses, depression requires attention and treatment.
Symptoms may include:

  • Depressed or irritable mood most of the day – nearly every day
  • Worry a lot
  • Feeling of being overwhelmed
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities most of the day – nearly every day (such as hobbies, work, or being with friends)
  • Sadness that lasts
  • Stressed
  • A sudden change in weight or appetite
  • Inability to sleep or sleeping too much
  • Agitation or restlessness (observed by others)
  • Constant fatigue or loss of energy
  • Frequent feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Causes may include:

  • Life altering experiences, such as divorce, death of a spouse or close friend, loss of a job, serious financial problems
  • Abuse of alcohol or other drugs
  • Certain medications and diseases
  • In women, hormonal changes may affect depression (birth, menopause, and such)
  • A family history of depression
  • In older adults, illnesses such as cancer, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
  • Or other life altering illnesses or conditions