Depression is a mood disorder that brings on constant sadness and hopelessness that can affect how you think and feel.  Severe cases may also impact your eating and sleeping habits and can lead to a variety of problems both physically and mentally.

We all have moments of feeling sad and not quite our best which I refer to as “off” days.   However, if these feelings last for two weeks or more then you may be dealing with something more serious. If it is in fact depression, symptoms are usually more noticeable and problematic in day to day activities such as social activities, relationships and work.  

If you seem to be having constant feelings of unexplained sadness that just won’t go away or a feeling of emptiness and loneliness then you may likely be battling depression.  Other symptoms include change in appetite, trouble concentrating, feeling worthless, sleeping too much or not enough, and thoughts of suicide or dying.   

Depression is a common mental disorder of which more than 264 million people suffer with.  More women have found to be affected by depression than men and it is the leading cause worldwide of disability.  Mental health is as important as physical health so signs shouldn’t be ignored as depression can lead to suicide.

There seems to be a stigma in mental health issues which I don’t quite understand. If you hurt your back you see a chiropractor, if sick with the flu you seek help from a physician so the need to restore your mental health should be no different.

If friends and family are noticing inconsistent behavior or questioning your mental state then you may want to have a deeper look into resources available.  Those that genuinely love and care for you has your best interest at heart so if they notice mood swings or a shift in your behavior then you may want to acknowledge it as well.  

If you or someone you know seems to be battling with depression it’s imperative to see your doctor or a mental health specialist.  When dealing with mental illness, the burden is too heavy and not to be handled on your own as you may require medication. If you are having suicidal thoughts please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.