Depression: Frequently Asked Questions
Finding Someone Who Can Help
Q. What is depression?
Depression is more than the blues or the blahs; it is more than the normal, everyday ups and downs. When that "down" mood, along with other symptoms, lasts for more than a couple of weeks, the condition may be clinical depression. Clinical depression is a serious health problem that affects the total person. In addition to feelings, it can change behavior, physical health and appearance, academic performance, social activity and the ability to handle everyday decisions and pressures. 10 to 20 percent of Americans suffer from a different form of depression also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you are concerned that you may be suffering from clinical depression, you can take our free depression self-screening and bring your results to one of our counselors.
Q. What causes clinical depression?
We do not yet know all the causes of depression, but there seems to be biological and emotional factors that may increase the likelihood that an individual will develop a depressive disorder. This can be discussed further with a Counseling and Wellness Center counselor.
Q. How common is it?
Clinical depression is a lot more common than most people think. It affects 15 million Americans every year. One-fourth of all women and one-eighth of all men will suffer at least one episode or occurrence of depression during their lifetimes. Depression affects people of all ages.
Q. Is it serious?
Depression can be very serious. It has been linked to poor school performance, absences from work and school, alcohol and drug abuse, and feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. In the last 25 years, the rate of suicide among young adults has increased dramatically. Suicide often is linked to depression.
Q. Are all depressive disorders alike?
There are various forms or types of depression.
Q. Can it be treated?
Yes, depression is treatable. Between 80 and 90 percent of people with depression - even the most serious forms - can be helped.
Q. Why don't people get the help they need?
Often people don't know they are depressed, so they don't ask for - or get - the right help.
If a friend shows symptoms of depression, you can listen and encourage him or her to ask a personal counselor about help. If your friend doesn't seek help quickly either talk to someone you trust and respect - especially if your friend mentions death or suicide - or contact us to set up an appointment: (860) 832-1926.
In any mental health emergency, always dial 911.