What is Depression?

Many people experience sadness as a normal part of life, but depression is more than just a few bad days. If you’re feeling down for weeks at a time, and your mood interferes with everyday life, you may be depressed.

Depression affects how you think, feel, and behave. You can’t simply “snap out of it”. People of any age or life condition can experience depression, even if things seem to be completely normal.

What are the symptoms of Depression?

Stress and bad experiences can lead to depression, but there are many other causes that may lead to someone feeling depressed. The exact cause of depression is unknown, but you should never feel ashamed for feelings of sadness or depression.

Mild depression is an early stage of depression, where you might notice that you no longer enjoy things that used to be fun. Maybe you have trouble focusing on work or school, or you’re easily irritated, or you have changes in your sleeping patterns. Sometimes, no matter how much you sleep, you still feel exhausted.

Here are a few other symptoms of depression:

  • Frequent feelings of sadness
  • Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Feelings that are hard to control
  • Eating more or less than usual 
  • No appetite
  • Feeling ashamed of yourself or worthless 
  • Isolating oneself from others
  • Thinking about suicide or hurting yourself

How to prevent Depression:

It may not be possible to prevent depression. However, you can try to regularly eat healthy, get plenty of rest, and take care of your body with daily exercise, which may help you to feel better. Additionally, talking with friends and family is a great way to get emotional support.

Treating Depression:

People who are depressed often find that speaking with a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist is very helpful. Sometimes your primary care doctor may prescribe medications to help improve your symptoms. Severe depression might require more involved treatment with a psychiatrist.

Some people who are depressed may think about hurting themselves or committing suicide. If you are having thoughts about hurting yourself, please get help immediately. 

These resources are here to help you:

  • Call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Call 911 
  • Reach out to a close friend or loved one
  • Go to the nearest hospital emergency department 
  • Get help from your primary doctor or other health care provider

How can San Ysidro Health help?

If you think you might be depressed, we can help. Call or text (619) 662-4100 to schedule an appointment with one of our behavioral health providers.

To learn more about San Ysidro Health’s Behavioral Health Services department, click here.