If you’re feeling overwhelmed because of the changes to our lives brought on by the COVID-19 public health emergency, you’re not alone. Many people have reported anxiety or stress after a traumatic event.
Over the last year, people have also reported difficulty sleeping, greater alcohol consumption or substance use, and worsening chronic conditions due to worry and stress over the virus. These symptoms, combined with upsetting events like job loss or the death of a loved one, can lead to depression.
Depression is a serious mental health condition
More than feeling down or having a bad day, depression affects how you feel, think and act. Depression causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can also decrease your ability to function at work and at home, and even affect your physical health.
Know what to look for
Recognizing the signs of depression is key to getting help. Talk to your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks:
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
- Extreme fatigue
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness, or irritability
- Insomnia, restlessness or sleeping too much
- Loss of interest in things you once found pleasurable
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Pessimism and hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
If you or someone you know is thinking about — or has attempted — suicide, immediately seek help from your doctor or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Pay attention to how you feel
While it is normal to experience a range of emotions during difficult times, don’t ignore feelings of sadness, worry, pessimism or other signs of depression, and don’t try to explain them away. Often these symptoms will not go away on their own and may get worse over time. That’s why reaching out for help is so important. We are here for you, 24/7, to connect you to services and programs to help support you and your family.