Is depression affecting your emotional well-being?
GEHA | August 26, 2019
Simply put, emotional well-being is judging life positively and feeling good.
However, finding this space and staying there may not be straightforward for everyone. All kinds of stresses in our daily lives can disrupt our emotional well-being, sometimes leading to depression.
Depression causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal activities.
For many people with depression, symptoms are usually severe enough to cause noticeable problems with day-to-day activities such as work, school, social activities or relationships. Some people may feel unhappy without really knowing why.
Depression symptoms may include:
- Loss of interest in activities
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Inability to concentrate
- Disrupted sleep
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Appetite changes
- Thoughts of suicide
There is not one cause of depression. It is a complex disease that can occur as a result of different factors, including emotional, biological and environmental. It could be caused by a significant life event such as the loss of a loved one or being diagnosed with a serious disease. Sometimes it can occur for no apparent reason.
Medication can help
Antidepressant medication works best when paired with psychotherapy, but it may take between one and three weeks before the medicine’s effects start working. It can take even longer before they reach maximum efficacy.
When a person is taking antidepressants, it is important to take medication as instructed and not to stop without a doctor’s help. Some people stop taking antidepressants too soon and depression returns. If the depression does return, it may be more severe. Antidepressants aren’t addictive, but a doctor can help slowly and safely decrease the dose to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Most symptoms associated with depression will eventually improve with antidepressant treatment. Don’t give up if one antidepressant doesn’t work. Each person responds differently to medication and another one might help.
If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal, call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.TALK (800.273.8255); TTY: 800.799.4TTY (800.799.4889).
GEHA medical plan members have access to telebehavioral health services though MDLIVE. Licensed therapists are available by appointment via secure video. You can activate your MDLIVE account online or by calling 888.912.1183.
“Well-Being Concepts.” www.cdc.gov, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 31 October 2018.
“Depression (major depressive disorder).” www.mayoclinic.org, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 3 February 2018.
“Mental Health: Depression.” www.webmd.com, WebMD LLC, 11 May 2018