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Seeking help for depression shows strength, not weakness

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Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go well? Everything you do seems to backfire and go all wrong? At some point in time we have all had one of those days. At the end of those days, we are usually totally exhausted and wondering why we do what we do.

Most of us in these circumstances have a supportive environment that helps us deal with these issues and move on through a productive life. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. In some circumstances the bad feelings can spiral out of control, leading to severe depression.

Approximately 21.5 million Americans suffer from depression, with women suffering from this disorder at twice the rate of men. It is classified as a mood disorder and can bring about long-lasting symptoms such as overwhelming sadness, low energy, loss of appetite and a lack of interest in things that used to bring pleasure. Physical symptoms may include insomnia or oversleeping, debilitating fatigue, increased or decreased appetite, weight gain or loss, difficulty concentrating or making decisions or unexplained aches and pains.

If you are suffering from these symptoms on a regular basis, please talk with your primary care physician. Early recognition and treatment can be successful in addressing these issues and preventing long-term issues from depression.

Unfortunately, depression and other mental health issues tend to have a significant stigma associated with them. These stigmas prevent many of us from seeking the help we may need. Research has shown that mental disorders are much like other physical conditions and can be treated if diagnosed appropriately. Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, and can make a big difference in how you lead your life. If you are having any of these symptoms, please speak to a health care professional about getting help. We all deserve to live happily ever after.

If you need a primary care physician, call 800.424.DOCS (3627) to find one today. Or for information about Wilson Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Services, visit www.wilsonmedical.com.

Ronald Stahl, M.D., is the chief medical officer at Wilson Medical Center.

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