Image of woman with depression walking on the street

By Dr. Carmen Casasnovas
Psychiatrist, SBH Health System

Depression is a serious condition that affects many Americans. It can make everyday tasks such as getting up in the morning or going to work difficult. Many people with depression describe it as feeling sad or down for weeks, months, or, sometimes, even years.  There are many symptoms that can accompany the depressed mood and one could have a few, or all, of these symptoms.

The way one experiences depression, however, can vary. In some cases, people find the things they used to enjoy no longer give them pleasure.

They may not want to be around people, and will often stay in their rooms for a large part of the day. A person suffering from depression  may find it difficult to sleep at night – or the contrary – sleep too much. Food may lose all appeal, to the point where some individuals may even start losing weight unintentionally.

Others eat so much they gain weight. It may become difficult to leave the home or do errands as there is often very little motivation or energy to do things. It may become difficult to focus on daily activities, such as reading the newspaper or watching TV. They may feel as though things will never get better and, in extreme circumstances, may experience suicidal thoughts.

Depression can be caused by medical illness, social stressors, or occur just out of the blue.

How Do I Know if This is Depression?
Ask yourself the following questions:

• Do you often find yourself sad or down?

• Do you often find that you have little or no desire to do things?

• Is it often difficult to fall or stay asleep?

• Do you often feel as though you have very little or no energy?

• Do you sometimes feel as though you would be better off dead, or if you didn’t exist at all?

• Do you often find it difficult to focus on daily tasks?

• Do you often find that you have little appetite, or are eating way too much?

• Are any of the above interfering with your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be important to speak to a professional to determine if, in fact, you do have depression.

I Think I May be Depressed. What Can I Do?

Treatment options for depression include medications, talk therapy, or a combination of both. Accessing these services is simple with the help of your primary care doctor. This is why it is always important to tell your primary doctor what you are feeling. They can help direct you so you get the proper care and stop depression from affecting your life. Another way to access care is by contacting SBH Behavioral Health by calling 718-960-3071. You are also welcome to walk in to our main intake center located at 2021 Grand Concourse, 6th floor, between 9am and 3pm, on weekdays, for more information.