Depression is one of the most common mental health issues among American adults. Many people don’t seek treatment because they don’t know they are depressed. Typical symptoms can include:

» Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood

» Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness, or guilt

» Loss of interest in ordinary things, from sex to schoolwork

» Sleep disturbance (too much or too little)

» Eating disturbance (too much or too little)

» Decreased energy and fatigue

» Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide ideation

» Increased restlessness or irritability

» Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions

» Physical symptoms – such as headaches, digestive problems, and chronic pain – that don’t respond to medical treatments

Behavior problems commonly mask depression, especially in teens and young adults. Difficulties with drugs and alcohol, practicing unsafe sex or other forms of “sex with regrets,” and destructive/illegal behavior can “mask” underlying depression. If symptoms are persistent, becoming more severe, and/or leading to self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, it is time to seek professional help.

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