Menu

The Lowdown on Depression

Apr 22, 2020Health Focus

“How much do you know about the common mental health disorder—depression?”

We all have days, even weeks, when we feel down in the dumps. But if you’ve been feeling low for longer than you care to remember, depression might be to blame. It’s a serious medical illness that shouldn’t be ignored.

Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses diagnosed, affecting more than 16 million Americans each year, according to Mental Health America (MHA). In general, women are twice as likely to suffer from depression compared to men. But you shouldn’t ignore depression in men. Men as a group tend to keep their emotions to themselves and find it harder to ask for help.

Depression is more than having sad thoughts after a negative event. It can be triggered by brain chemical imbalance, negative thinking patterns, certain illnesses or medications, family history or—sometimes—no apparent reason at all 

Unfortunately, diagnosing depression isn’t as easy as detecting a broken bone. Your doctor will have to look for medical causes or environmental factors or even both. Do you know the signs of depression?

According to MHA, symptoms to watch for include:

  • Contemplating suicide or death

  • Feeling hopeless or helpless

  • Losing interest in activities you used to love

  • Persistent sad or empty mood

  • Sleeping too much or too little

In addition, other symptoms might include appetite and weight loss or gain, restlessness or irritability, on-going physical symptoms, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, or feelings of guilt.

Untreated depression can have a wide range of effects—from trouble at work and at home to suicide. And research shows that the longer you wait to get help, the more it can hurt your health later on. Remember, depression is a treatable illness.

The first step to beating depression is talking to your doctor

You’re Not Alone

Bingham Healthcare mental health counselors are here. If you or a loved one are struggling with any of the signs described in this article and require the services of a mental health counselor, please call (208) 785-3800 to schedule an appointment or visit www.BinghamMemorial.org/Mental-Health-Counselors. Our mental health specialists see patients in Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, and Pocatello.

Schedule your Telehealth visit today!

All of Bingham’s mental health professionals are accepting Telehealth appointments, which means you can have your appointment over the phone or computer from the comfort of your own home. For more information, please call (208) 785-4100 or visit www.BinghamHealthcare.org/Telehealth.

Important resources

If you or someone you love is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

To contact the Veterans Crisis Line, veterans, service members, or their families can call 1 (800) 273-8255 and press 1. They can also text 838255 or http://www.veteranscrisisline.net for assistance..

Take Our Lowdown on Depression Quiz

How much do you know about depression? Test your knowledge with this quiz.

Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.