At one point or another we have all experienced sadness. Being sad is a common emotion right along with happy or feeling content. What happens when your sadness lasts for days or longer and doesn’t seem to go away no matter what you do to abide it? What does it mean when your feelings of sadness are also joined with feelings of hopelessness or helplessness? You may find that you are suffering from depression.

There are several symptoms of depression such as: over-eating or lack of appetite, either sleeping too little or too much, lack of desire to do things you usually find pleasurable, flat or numb-like feelings with your mood, isolating from others, decreased memory or slowed thought process, feeling alone in the world and many other symptoms. There are several things that cause depression including seasonal, biological or genetics, trauma-related, vitamin deficiency, medical illness, lack of basic needs being met, and many other symptoms.

Often, when someone becomes depressed they are at a loss for what to do. There are several things you can do to decrease your chances of having depression or decrease the duration in which you are depressed. Some examples are: increasing your daily exercise, eating a vitamin-based & nutritionally balanced diet, increase your vitamin D intake, become more socially involved, begin and maintain meaningful hobbies, be sure to get at least 8-10 hours of sleep nightly and many more options. If you are prone to feelings of depression, it may be helpful to write out a plan identifying ways that you may cope with the feelings once they occur. It may also be helpful to write out names and contact numbers of people whom you may call to receive encouragement during these times.

If you or people whom know you well begin to notice you are increasingly sad, hopeless, or lack enjoyment most of the time, please seek help from your medical doctor or a mental health professional. The Gogebic County Community Mental Health access for services phone number is 1-888-906-9060. If you or anyone you know has feelings of suicide or plans to harm themselves or others, please contact the local Community Mental Health crisis line at 1-800-348-0032. Be aware that there is confidential help a phone call away in this circumstance.

By: Angela Hernandez, Home Based Clinician at Gogebic Community Mental Health

Depression Happens. Are You Prepared?