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Depression is a disturbance in mood characterized by varying degrees of sadness, disappointment, loneliness, hopelessness, self-doubt, guilt, changes in behavior, and thoughts of suicide. Many people experience depressive symptoms. They are a common response to adjusting to a new environment, intense stress, relationship conflicts, or grief and loss. There is not always an identifiable cause. Sometimes the symptoms disappear within a week or two. However, sometimes depressive symptoms are present for many months and have a significant impact on daily life.

Common Symptoms of Depression
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities and withdrawing from others
  • Feeling worthless, excessively guilty, hopeless, sad, or empty
  • Sleeping habits (e.g. insomnia, excessively sleeping)
  • Disruptions in eating habits or weight (e.g. decrease in appetite; significant weight gain)
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death
  • Fatigue, irritability, dissatisfaction with life, reduced ability to cope
  • Difficulty concentrating, memory impairment, and difficulty making decisions
  • Chronic fatigue, lack of energy, headaches, pain, digestive problems

Take this confidential self-assessment to learn more about your depression symptoms.

What You Can Do If Think You Are Suffering From Depression

There are many strategies available to reduce and manage depression symptoms. Depressive symptoms impact thoughts, beliefs, and predictions. You need to understand how the thoughts that your mind produces contributes to your depressive mood. Since your thoughts and beliefs impact your behavior, it’s a good idea to know how you react to negative emotions.

One of the most important pieces to focus on when you are experiencing depressive symptoms is your behavior. Depression takes the pleasure out of activities. It reduces motivation and energy. It makes things feel harder to do than they should be. The worse you feel, the easier to talk yourself out of doing what you need to do. “What’s the point? I don’t feel like it. Maybe, tomorrow. It’s probably going to fail anyway. Why bother?”

However, the more you cut out of your life to accommodate depression, the more your confidence suffers, the more isolated and alone you are, and the worse you feel. Make positive behavior changes to positively impact your mood. Part of changing your behavior is also engaging in activities that improve your mood. Although you may not feel like it, it is often important to do the opposite when trying to talk yourself out of doing tasks because of a negative emotion. Complete the Daily Self-Care handout to make sure you have a balance of social, pleasurable, and productive activities.

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