What is Depression?

Everyone feels the "blues" or is sad at times in life.  These feelings are normal in response to change, stress or loss.  If these feelings hinder you from handling your responsibilities (self-care, daily tasks, relationships), then it may be time to seek help.

Depression is a mental illness that is characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness and hopelessness, slowed behavior, loss of interest in friends and activities, and thoughts of death and suicide.  Not everyone experiences depression in the same way; you may have some of the feelings or experience listed below.

What happens to the Mind when you are depressed?

  • Feelings of sadness or irritability
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Feelings of guilt, hopeless, or worthless
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Memory loss
  • Neglecting responsibilities or personal appearance
  • Thoughts of suicide

What happens to your Body when you are depressed?

  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Restlessness, agitated, or fidgety
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable physical activities
  • Headaches, stomachaches or otherwise inexplicable aches and pains.

What happens to your Spirit when you are depressed?

  • Over-emphasis on sin/negative nature of people
  • Inability to experience joy or peace
  • Difficulty with prayer, worship, or Bible study
  • Isolation from God, other friends, and spiritual/religious activities
  • Lack of belief, faith, hope that your situation can change

Women and Depression

Men and Depression

Depression Screening

Listed below are several depression screening questionnaires.  By answering the questions, you can determine if you have enough symptoms to make an appointment to see a professional for a formal evaluation.  A physician or licensed mental health professional would be able to evaluate your status and make appropriate recommendations.

Despite your score on any screening questionnaire, if you feel depressed seek out professional help.  If you are feeling suicidal or at risk for hurting yourself, go to the nearest hospital emergency room or dial "911".

Mental Health of America Depression Screening Questionnaire

Depression Self-Assessment- Mayo Clinic

Depression and Diabetes

Many people who have diabetes are prone to becoming depressed, but if you understand your illness you can take better care of yourself.