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What is Depression?

Depression is an illness that can affect a person's body as well as their mind & spirit. Most People feel down from time to time, that's normal. But when feelings are severe or prolonged, one may be experiencing depression.

Depression often goes ignored or untreated. People either don't understand or they don't recognize the symptoms, they may be afraid to appear "weak" or they may be too depressed to take action.

When someone is depressed, everyone close to them suffers. Untreated, depression can disrupt work, family relations, and social life. The good news is that depression can be treated. Most people begin to feel better within weeks after beginning treatment. Treatment might include antidepressant medications and/or psychotherapy. Some self-help remedies may also be helpful such as 20 minutes of exercise every day (i.e. walking), 20 minutes of sunshine per day, and reduction in caffeine intake.

Anyone can suffer from depression. The elderly, middle aged people, young adults, adolescents and even babies can suffer from depression. Many things can predispose someone to a bout of depression such as unbalanced brain chemistry, major life changes, alcohol and other drugs, a family history of depression, illness or medications.

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If you or anyone you know is exhibiting any signs of suicide, get help immediately. Suicide does not have to happen! See the "hotlines" listings at this site. Or call 1-800-999-9999 for help.

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