This may be the MOST important thing to know about depression: It’s NOT a sign of weakness or a character flaw. It’s a serious illness—like heart disease or diabetes. Health Care Professionals (HCP) can screen for it—and treat it to help people get their lives back.
Depression is more than feeling sad. It can make it hard to function day to day—and it can rob you of your ability to enjoy your life. Treatment—typically talk therapy, medication or both—may help you feel more like yourself again. If someone is clinically depressed, they can’t just “snap out of it,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Most people need treatment to get better; generally, the earlier treatment begins, the more effective it is; and it’s never too late to seek help. If you need help now, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline anytime at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If someone is in immediate danger, call 911—or go to the nearest emergency room.
Symptoms of depression may vary from mild to severe. If you have any of the following symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, talk with your HCP.
What should you do next? Speak up—even if it’s difficult. To bring this up with your HCP, try something like this: “I haven’t been myself lately. I think I may have depression—and I’d like some help.”
If you’re currently taking antidepressants, here are four important pointers:
As your parish nurse, I am available and eager to assist in finding some mental health resources. Any communication or actions are confidential and treated in a professional manner. Healthy body, healthy mind. Be the best you can be!
Your Parish Nurse,
Mary Ann Martin, RN, BAS, FC