Everybody gets the blues now and then. Feelings of sadness, helplessness or anger can be especially strong during times of stress or loss. That’s a normal part of life. After a while, the darkness lifts and things start to feel enjoyable again.
Sometimes, however, the sadness or loneliness persists – or gets worse – despite all attempts to “snap out of it.” Tears or anger come easily and the simplest tasks seem difficult. It can feel like you’re trapped in the bottom of a barrel and can’t climb out.
Such prolonged feelings can be signs of clinical depression, the most commonly diagnosed emotional issue among teens and adults.
Left untreated, depression can lead to serious behavioral, emotional and physical problems – even suicide. Fortunately, there are effective ways to treat clinical depression through a combination of therapies, medications and support groups.
If you or someone you know has been battling any of the signs and symptoms of depression, it is very important to get help. Talk to someone who cares – your parents, school counselor or family doctor. Some professionals who specialize in treating depression are called psychiatrists, who are medical doctors (M.D.s), or psychologists, who have M.A.s or Ph.Ds.