Depression is NOT a Weakness, nor is it something that you can simply get over

Depression is NOT a WeaknessIt is highly likely that you are well aware of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but do you know that it is also designated as National Depression Education and Awareness Month? The mental health community uses this time to better educate and inform the public about the causes, treatments and realities of living with depression.

First and foremost, we must accept that depression isn’t biased; it affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Depression can occur in people who do or do not have a family history of depression.

A serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem or any stressful (unwelcome or even desired) change in life patterns can trigger a depressive episode. Very often, a combination of genetic, psychological and environmental factors is involved in the onset of a depressive disorder.

The three of the most common types of depressive disorders include major depression, dysthymia and bipolar disorder. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity and persistence.

In small children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, rage, hopelessness and worry. Symptoms in adolescents and teens may include anxiety, anger, anti-social behavior. In older adults, depression may go undiagnosed because symptoms — for example, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems or loss of interest in sex — may seem to be caused by other illnesses. This makes the symptoms easily overlooked. People may feel dissatisfied with life, bored, helpless and even worthless. They might always want to stay home rather than associating with others or trying new things. Never realizing they are suffering from clinical depression.

The most important thing anyone can do for a depressed person is to help him or her receive an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouragement to stay with treatment until  symptoms begin to abate (several weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. On occasion, it may include making an appointment and accompanying the depressed person to the medical office.

It is also important to offer emotional support. Demonstrate understanding, patience, affection and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope.

Even when friends and family become aware of continuing mental illness, they are often reluctant to discuss it because they are afraid how you will react – and really – they don’t know how to. WE DO. We know how to address your concerns and help you on the path to recovery.

At Gulfcoast Clinical Research Center, we realize that clinical research studies will not help everyone, and that mental illness is a serious, all-encompassing issue for those that suffer and their loved ones. We’d like to make you aware of an online community forum we’re building called Depressed In Fort Myers. Please visit the site, share with others, and make friends. Many problems can be overcome with the help and guidance of those that have gone before you. It’s a resource for information and a forum to discuss your condition. Feel free to sign up and join the conversation today. Visit Depressed In Fort Myers at or

Symptoms and signs of depression include:
• Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
• Aggravation over trivial things and angry outbursts
• Restlessness and irritability
• Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and pessimism
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness
• Loss of interest or pleasure gained from former hobbies and interests
• Fatigue and decreased energy
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering and making decisions
• Insomnia and oversleeping
• Weight loss or overeating
• Unexplained crying spells
• Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain
• Thoughts of death or suicide

National Depression Screening Day – October 10, 2013
Take a confidential depression screening at

Held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) raises awareness and screens people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders.

FORT MYERS, FL 33912.  FROM 9:00-6:00.

NDSD is the nation’s oldest voluntary, community-based screening program that provides referral information for treatment. Through the program, more than half a million people each year have been screened for depression since 1991.

Throughout the month of October, Gulfcoast Clinical Research Center is offering complimentary Depression Symptom Screening Assessments. Call 239-561-0009 today to schedule an appointment.

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