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Depression - It's More Common Than You Think
Keeping Your Family First
Almost everyone gets the "blues," a mood dip that lifts after a few days. But depression is not to be ignored, since it can sap your energy, contribute to major illnesses, lead to alcohol or drug abuse and even be life threatening. Depression strikes about 17 million Americans every year. But the good news is that 4 out of 5 can beat it with help. Here's what to keep in mind:
* Know the signs. Depression can bring about emotional as well as physical symptoms, affecting daily activities and job performance.
Common signs: feelings of sadness or pessimism, loss of appetite or uncontrolled appetite, trouble sleeping or excessive sleepiness, difficulty thinking or concentrating, a general slowing down of mental and physical activities and trouble diving into tasks that once seemed simple.
* Don't ignore it. Seek help from a health care practitioner or mental health professional if you are depressed for an extended period of time. Treatment options such as counseling, group therapy and new antidepressant medications can work wonders. Even for depression that eventually might subside, early diagnosis and treatment can reduce its length and intensity and the chances that it will come back.
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