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Home > Fitness & Health > Health Library > Feeling Depressed
Life is full of changes. Everyday events and our reactions to them sometimes affect our sense of well-being and peace of mind. It's common to get the blues or become sad when you're disappointed. Symptoms of depression are the most common medical problems seen by health professionals. It is estimated that feelings of depression will affect about one-third of all adults in the United States at some time in their lives.
Most people feel sad about losses like divorce or separation, the death of a friend or loved one, or a job change or layoff. These feelings are an expected reaction to a "triggering event." Most people get over them in time.
Several things make you more likely to have feelings of depression, such as:
Symptoms of depression that may point to a need for treatment vary from person to person. If you have feelings of sadness or loss of interest in pleasurable activities plus four or more of the following symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, you may be depressed.
People who feel depressed may also have physical symptoms, such as body aches or stomach problems.
Because "mood swings" and other emotional changes are thought to be a normal part of growing up, depression in children and teens often goes unrecognized. Children and teens do have depression. It can affect a child's quality of life. If prolonged or severe depression is left untreated, it can lead to serious outcomes, including suicide attempts and even completed suicide. If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, or feeling hopeless, get help right away. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line. Consider saving these numbers in your phone.
Depression is the most important risk factor for suicide.
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Many things can affect how your body responds to a symptom and what kind of care you may need. These include:
You have answered all the questions. Based on your answers, you may be able to take care of this problem at home.
Symptoms of depression may include:
The risk of a suicide attempt is highest if:
Based on your answers, you may need care soon. The problem probably will not get better without medical care.
Based on your answers, the problem may not improve without medical care.
Based on your answers, you may need care right away. The problem is likely to get worse without medical care.
The National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255 is also a resource.
Based on your answers, you need emergency care.
Call 911 or other emergency services now.
Sometimes people don't want to call 911. They may think that their symptoms aren't serious or that they can just get someone else to drive them. Or they might be concerned about the cost. But based on your answers, the safest and quickest way for you to get the care you need is to call 911 for medical transport to the hospital.
Positive actions and feelings can help lift your spirits. Thinking positively may be very hard when you're feeling depressed. But try to think about the positive side of situations and events in your life.
Appreciate any moments when you have positive thoughts. The following tips may help.
Make statements that promote good thoughts. Replace negative self-talk with positive comments.
They may interfere with medicines you are taking or they can make your depression worse.
Some complementary medicines can interfere with other medicines.
If you or someone you know talks about suicide, self-harm, or feeling hopeless, get help right away. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or text HOME to 741741 to access the Crisis Text Line. Consider saving these numbers in your phone.
Call a doctor if any of the following occur during self-care at home:
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared for your appointment.
Current as of:
February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineKathleen Romito MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineDavid Messenger MD - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine
Current as of: February 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & David Messenger MD - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
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