Mental Health America
sky   In Crisis?
  24 Hour Crisis
  & Suicide Hotline
  (317) 251-7575 or
  (800) 273-TALK

Print Version Increase Font Size Decrease Text Size

Understanding Depression

Understanding Depression

What is depression? It is a mental illness that affects the mind and the body. Depression can cause many symptoms. People who are depressed may lose interest in activities, cut themselves off from others, find little pleasure in life, feel sad, let down or confused and anxious, or have physical problems such as aches and pains, fatigue and trouble sleeping.

Depression is common. It affects millions of people each year. Yet, many people do not understand it. Depression is often ignore or untreated because people may not recognize the symptoms. They may be afraid of looking weak, or feel too depressed to get help. If it is not treated, depression can affect all areas of life. This includes work, family and friends. If depression is treated, most people can start to feel better in a few weeks.

What causes depression? Several factors may cause depression, such as family history, changes in certain brain chemicals, major life changes, major illnesses, use of alcohol or other drugs, and certain medications. Depression can occur for no clear reason as well. It can affect anyone, including older people, middle-aged adults, young adults, adolescents, and children. Women are more likely to have depression than men. The reason is not known. It may be due to differences in body chemistry or it could be that women may be more likely to seek help and get diagnosed.

People who treat depression are psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, licensed professional counselors, psychiatric nurses and your health care providers. Sources of help may be found at community mental health centers, general hospitals, mental hospitals, mental health clinics, family service agencies, spiritual leaders, and self-help groups.

Take action if you or someone you know has symptoms of depression. See a health care provider and get a full checkup. Talk about your symptoms. Also follow up if they refer you to see someone else. Talk about your feelings with a friend. Get some exercise. Getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week will help . Avoid extra stress and treat yourself to an activity you like or a night out.

Just remember that depression can be treated!!!! For more information on depression log onto our website at

Contact Us

Laura Stahl
P.O. Box 51
Seymour, IN 47274
Phone: (812) 522-3480
Fax: (812) 524-8176