Don’t ignore the warning symptoms of depression

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PHILADELPHIA — While it is common for everyone to feel down or sad at times, a person whose symptoms last for more than two weeks may be having a major depressive episode, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

An estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2016, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

The treatments for depression can vary and include medications, psychotherapy or a combination of the two.

“Often the most difficult cases of depression can be effectively treated,” said Michael Golinkoff, Ph.D., M.B.A., president of PerformCare, a managed behavioral health organization and part of the AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies.

“However, the sooner the treatment can begin, the better it will work.”

Someone may be experiencing depression and not realize they have it, as the symptoms vary.

About 37 percent of adults with a major depressive episode did not receive treatment.

It’s also important to point out that without proper treatment, the symptoms can get worse. According to the administration, some of the warning signs of depression include sadness, anxiety or feeling “empty.”

Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness or helplessness, can also be signs, they may have fatigue or decreased energy level or change in appetite.

At the extreme, thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts can occur. The warning signs of depression should never be ignored. Anyone with these symptoms should speak with their primary care provider or a behavior health specialist.

Loved ones or friends who exhibit these symptoms should be encouraged to do the same.

“If we feel physically ill we get medical treatment without giving it a second thought,” said Golinkoff. “We should think of mental illness in much the same way.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. It’s crazy to me that about 37% of adults who experience depressive episodes don’t seek treatment for their depression. I am a current college student and depression is something that is mentioned on a daily basis because of how important an issue it is. I will be sure to always seek out options like TMS therapy if I find myself in a spot where I am depressed or having depressive episodes.

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