It’s common to hear people talk about being depressed. Usually, when people say this, they are talking about feeling sad or bad about a temporary or situational event. Clinical depression is different than the sadness we feel after a bad event. It is a crippling condition that can last for weeks, months, even for years. It is often marked by feelings of hopelessness, despair, and apathy and interferes with life activities. Left untreated, it usually continues to get worse. Someone suffering from clinical depression may also consider suicide. Clinical depression is pretty common. According to the American Psychiatric Association, more than 17 million men and women in the U.S. suffer from clinical depression each year. It can affect people of all ages.
The good news about depression is that treatment helps. Studies show that clinical depression responds well to treatment, and can be effectively treated in more than 80 percent of all cases. The bad news is that it is all too frequently unrecognized and untreated.
In a study of people who were experiencing depression, the following 5 symptoms were among the most common symptoms reported by at least 90% of the subjects: Less enjoyment from usual activities; disappointment with self; hopelessness; Irritability; and difficulty sleeping.
Other frequent symptoms of clinical depression include
- Persistent sadness, anxiety, or feelings of emptiness
- Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
- Fatigue, lack of energy, lethargy
- Sleep disorders, insomnia and sleeping too much
- Sudden reductions or increases in appetite and weight
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Restlessness or irritability
- Physical complaints that persist despite treatment – headaches, pain, digestive problems
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, hopelessness or worthlessness or pointlessness
- Detachment from friends and family
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol
TotalCare EAP offers help and resources for employees (or their family members) who are suffering from depression. We offer depression screening and assessments, as well as unlimited telephonic counseling sessions with Masters or PhD level clinical counselors. Or if members prefer, we can make a referral for face-to-face counseling sessions with a clinician from a network of more than 25,000 counselors. Members can also explore a vast array of articles, tools and informational resources in our online self-help centers.