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Depression controls the lives of silent sufferers

Depression is a common mental illness that often goes untreated, said Dawn Wilson, community collaboration coordinator with Pathways.
One in four women and one in 10 men experience depression at some time in their lives, she said. Two-thirds of those suffering don’t seek necessary treatment.
“A lot of people confuse depression with melancholy and grief,” said Wilson. “There are melancholy feelings when something bad happens, but with depression there’s not always an event that leads to the bad feelings.”
Symptoms of depression include:
· Persistent sad or empty mood
· Feeling of hopelessness
· A loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies once enjoyed
· Fatigue
· Insomnia
· Difficulty concentrating
· Appetite and/or weight changes
· Thoughts of death or suicide
· Restlessness
· Irritability
· Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment
“Where you see one of those symptoms, that’s certainly not a sign of depression,” said Wilson. “But where you see many, that’s an indication that you or your loved one may be suffering from depression.”
Wilson describes depression as debilitating, rendering some people unable to function or even get out of bed. Yet, depression is one of the most common mental illnesses. Eighty percent of cases can be effectively treated with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two, she said.
“The important thing is depression isn’t something that people should be embarrassed of. It’s an illness.”
Depression can be genetic, psychological or physical and may last for a varied amount of time.
“In some cases it may go away. In others it may be there forever, but they can at least learn to mitigate it,” Wilson said.
Pathways offers help for those suffering from depression. The organization serves people of all economic levels in Lincoln, Gaston and Cleveland counties.
Therapists are available for counseling, and psychiatrists are on hand for medication evaluations.
“We would not want someone to live their life with clinical depression,” said Wilson.
—————To speak with someone at Pathways about depression call 800-898-5898. A 24-hour emergency line for crisis situations is also available, 704-735-4357.by Diane Turbyfill

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