Depression is a disease. It is real. It is scary for all involved including families, spouses, children, friends, and those suffering from depression. All too often individuals suffering from depression try to fight it alone or ignore the signs. Please stop doing that. Depression is a health issue. It is NOT a toughness issue. It is NOT a personality problem. It IS a disease. It can be treated, but it must be addressed.
The recent uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its effects on families, jobs, and health can elevate depression. Symptoms can include:
- A significant change in appetite
- A significant problem sleeping
- A change in interests or pleasures
- Feelings of worthlessness or feelings of inadequacy
- An overall decrease in energy
- Recurring thoughts of suicide or death
- Difficulty remembering things or been easily distracted
That is not an exhaustive list, but it is a start. The best thing you can do during this stressful time is to check in on your friends and family.
Additionally, there are resources available should you or someone you know need them. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
You can also visit the CDC website for recommendations on how to manage stress and anxiety during this time: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html.