Especially during difficult times, it's normal to feel sad or discouraged.
But when those feelings persist for two weeks or longer, it could be depression.
It's a common illness that affects an estimated 19 million Americans--that's nearly one in ten! It's also one of the most under-diagnosed illnesses on college campuses.
The symptoms can come on so slowly that one day, a person realizes that he can't remember the last time he felt good.
Here are some warning signs for depression: Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness Loss of interest or enjoyment in things that used to be fun Decreased energy, fatigue Restlessness, irritability Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions Trouble sleeping, or oversleeping Appetite or weight changes Thoughts of suicide Many students suffer needlessly.
Depression is often very treatable.
Not everyone experiences every symptom, and the severity can vary over time.
Depression is not something you can just "snap out of" and make better on your own.
This assumption can reinforce feelings of hopelessness and failure.
It's important to seek outside help.
Through counseling and, in some cases, medication, the majority of people notice significant improvement!If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above for two weeks or longer, here's what you need to do today:Make an appointment with a counselor on campus.
Your counselor can screen you for depression and get you the immediate help you need.
Do not spend another day suffering in silence! To learn more about depression, take the National Mental Health Association's online depression screening at http://www.
To learn more about suicide prevention, visit the Jed Foundation Web site at http://www.
For help with someone who is threatening to commit suicide, call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Their Web site is http://www.