December, what do you think of when you think of the month of December? Most may think of Christmas, Jesus’ birth, family gathers, presents, childhood memories and many more traditions. But for some, these winter months are depressing.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. Some people may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes may feel as life isn’t worth living.
Depression isn't a weakness and you can't simply "snap out" of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.
Depression may occur only once during your life but people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:
- Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as hobbies or sports
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
If you or someone you know are having symptoms of depression, make an appointment to see your doctor or mental health professional. Some may wish to talk to a close friend, faith leader, or someone else they can trust If you or someone you know have thoughts of harming yourself or suicide, get help right away. Call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255