Not Just Singing the Blues

Depression is a serious medical affliction that can alter quality of life, or in extreme cases, end it.

had done something [wrong]. It wasn’t them.”

Ruballo had the support of his family when it came to seeking professional help, but many people don’t have that support and delay treatment. If seeing a therapist is intimidating, talk to your primary care physician or consider group counseling. Talking to friends and family, even your minister, can be comforting. But ultimately, if you are experiencing prolonged symptoms (for more than two weeks) such as sleep disturbance, appetite changes, irritability, lack of concentration, or suicidal thoughts, you may have depression, and you should seek professional treatment.

Symptoms of Depression
The three most severe forms of depression are major depression, chronic depression (dysthymia), and bipolar disorder. Types of depression differ by duration and degree of symptoms. Sufferers of major depression tend to have all or most of the following symptoms and may even experience chronic physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and muscle tension. Other symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad or empty mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Sleeping too much or having insomnia
  • Poor concentration
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Feeling anxious or irritable
  • Inability to focus
  • Suicidal thoughts

If you think you may be depressed, the first step is to examine your daily life and see if there are any changes in your routine. Are you getting enough sleep or too much sleep? Are you isolating yourself from friends? Are you eating properly? First, make sure you are taking care of your basic needs and then assess if there have been any major changes in your life, whether personal or professional, that may be creating anxiety or throwing you off balance. For additional information and resources, visit

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