top of page

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

988  or 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Crisis Textline text

'START' 741-741

Thinking Man on Couch


If you or someone you know is in a crisis and considering suicide, call or text one of the hotlines below. 

What is it?

What Causes it?

Signs / Symptoms

Treatment / Therapies

Depression is a medical illness like heart disease, diabetes, or cancer.  Depression is not "the blues". Everyone at one time or another experiences "the blues". These are normal feelings that pass with time. Feelings that are associated with depression last longer than two weeks. If you suffer from depression, you can’t talk yourself out of it, you can’t just get over it. You are not weak, you don’t have a character flaw. Having the illness of depression isn’t your fault.  Depression affects the whole body. It affects your thoughts, feelings, behavior, physical health, and appearance. Depression can affect all areas of your life. It can affect school, work, friends, sports, etc. Depression can be treated successfully like any other illness. There is HELP, there is HOPE.

Source: SAVE What to Do Brochure

Depression is triggered by a complex combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. The brain is an organ of the body just like the heart, liver and kidneys. If the neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain) that regulate how a person thinks, feels and acts get out of balance, the brain can get sick and the result can be clinical depression. Depression isn't always genetic, it can be triggered by a traumatic event, loss or stress. It can also appear out of nowhere, when everything is going fine, at a time when there is no reason to be depressed. DEPRESSION IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!

Source:  SAVE What to Do Brochure

  • Feeling sad, empty or numb

  • Feeling hopeless, helpless, and/or worthless

  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities, or lack of motivation

  • Irritability, crankiness, constantly critical or complaining

  • Changes in appetite, unusual weight gain or loss

  • Changes in sleep patterns, trouble falling asleep or sleeping all the time

  • Fatigue, loss of energy

  • Physical slowing of speech, movements or thinking

  • Low self-esteem and self-confidence 

  • Poor concentration or indecisiveness

  • Increased behavioral or relationship problems, trouble at school, home, work, etc. 

  • Persistent physical problems:  neck/back pain, headaches, stomach-aches or joint pain

  • ​Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide plans or attempts 

Source: SAVE What to Do Brochure & Mayo Clinic 

Medications and psychotherapy are effective for most people with depression. Your primary care doctor or ​psychiatrist can prescribe medications to relieve symptoms. However, many people with depression also benefit from seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional.


If you have severe depression, you may need a hospital stay, or you may need to participate in an outpatient treatment program until your symptoms improve.                                                                        

Psychotherapy is a general term for treating depression by talking about your condition and related issues with a mental health professional. Psychotherapy is also known as counseling, talk therapy or psychological therapy.


Different types of psychotherapy can be effective for depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or interpersonal therapy. Your mental health professional may also recommend other types of therapies. Psychotherapy can help you:

  • Adjust to a crisis or other current difficulty

  • Identify negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones

  • Explore relationships and experiences, and develop positive interactions with others

  • Find better ways to cope and solve problems

  • Identify issues that contribute to your depression and change behaviors that make it worse

  • Regain a sense of satisfaction and control in your life and help ease depression symptoms, such as hopelessness and anger

  • Learn to set realistic goals for your life

  • Develop the ability to tolerate and accept distress using healthier behaviors and coping strategies

Many types of medication and antidepressants are available and can also be an option for those with depression. Some examples of medication for depression include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), atypical antidepressants, tricyclic antidepressants, and others. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional to discuss possible options & side effects.

Source: SAVE What to Do Brochure & Mayo Clinic 

bottom of page