Depression can strongly affect your life. It can drag you down, keeping you from experiencing your full potential. Most people occasionally feel "blue," while clinically depressed people can appear to be functioning normally while just beneath the surface they struggle with feelings of sadness, discouragement, and worthlessness over a prolonged period.
One of the biggest problems with depression is that it robs you of the energy and motivation necessary to deal effectively with the disorder and move forward.
The first step is realizing that you are depressed. The next step is to take action—and seek help, if you need it—so that you can successfully overcome depression and move on. The most common symptoms of depression include regularly and consistently feeling:
You, or someone you know, may have one or more of these symptoms. If depression becomes overwhelming, or if it gets in the way of living your life as fully as you would like, talk to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a mental health professional, or a physician to start the first steps of moving ahead—and away from depression.
If your depression is not too serious, you may try some simple things to help avoid biochemical, emotional, and psychological factors that can contribute to the disorder.
If you continue to suffer from the effects of emotional distress and feel overwhelmed by it, you should contact a professional. Here are some red flags to look out for:
* Having self-destructive behavior or thoughts, especially suicidal ones, is a symptom that needs immediate attention. If you experience such feelings and feel that you need help, call your EAP (see information to the right) or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's toll-free number, which is available 24 hours every day of the year: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). This service is available to everyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.
See our depression handout for even more information on recognizing depression.
If you need support, you can always contact your EAP (Employee Assistance Program). Offering short-term counseling, the EAP can help you and your family members deal with many of life's challenges, including help with work, family, personal matters, and sometimes legal and financial issues, too. Check your agency's intranet or speak to someone in your HR department for contact information for your EAP.
If your agency is an FOH EAP customer, you have 24/7/365 access to your EAP at absolutely no cost to you. To contact your FOH EAP, call toll free, anytime day or night, 1-800-222-0364 (TTY: 1-888-262-7848) or access the EAP on the Web at www.FOH4You.com