Depression: It's not just a feeling
October is National Depression Awareness Month - with a National Screening Day on 10/6/16. Since this is such an important topic, I have a Free Depression Screening right here on this website. (Check out the Staying Informed Page.) So everyone has felt low or blue at one time or another. The difference between that emotion & the illness of depression lies in the brain, which controls thoughts & feelings. Depression is a biological imbalance of brain neurons. Even the medicine classes used to combat this disease refer to these neurotransmitters: SSRI's for example are Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors. Common meds in this class are Prozac, Zoloft, & Celexa. And the list goes on . . . The disorder that is depression involves meeting a distinct criteria that allows professional counselors (like Me!) of all kinds to assign the diagnosis. Using the different screenings (see the Staying Informed Page) can give you an idea of how close you are to the criteria, however they are by no means the be all to end all. The screenings are a first step. Then one can meet with a counselor or their physician. One of the dangers of Depression is that it can & does lead to suicidal thinking. If you have suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 800-273-TALK. Depression is serious & can have many negative outcomes. It's my job to help you turn those around so that life can be more that just this feeling.