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  • Susan J. Leviton

October is National Depression Awareness Month

“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather.

---Stephen Fry

Things to know about depression:

  • Depression is a medical condition. It is not a bad mood, an attitude problem, or a way to get attention.

  • No one chooses to be depressed.

  • Depression occurs in people of all nationalities, ethnicities, and socioeconomic levels.

  • People who are depressed cannot "snap out of it." Nor will counting their blessings or being told they have nothing to be depressed about help.

  • Depression may be triggered by events, but often it appears out of nowhere.

  • The World Health Organization estimates that 5% of adults worldwide have depression.

Symptoms of depression include:

Persistent feelings of sadness


Lack of energy

Trouble concentrating

Excessive sleeping or not being able to sleep

Lack of appetite or overeating

Lack of desire to engage in favorite activities



Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

Thoughts of suicide

The most important thing to know about depression is that it is treatable.

There are many different types of psychotherapy used to treat depression, as well as various medications, TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), meditation, yoga, and more.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of depression can prevent you from reaching out for help. You might want to enlist the assistance of a supportive family member or friend. You can also contact many therapists through their websites if making a phone call is too difficult right now.

Here are some resources:

Your insurance company. Call the number on the back of your card and ask for referrals.

SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Helpline:

1-800-662-HELP (4357)

There are also many websites that will help you find a therapist:

Los Angeles County Psychological Association

(An internet search will provide many more.)

Referrals can also come from people you know.

Depression is not your fault! Get the treatment you need and deserve.

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