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Mental Health Monday: How to identify, help treat depression

If untreated, the disorder can impact family members or even put the person's life in jeopardy.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Nineteen million people grapple with depression. But what does depression look like, and how can you help someone you love if they're struggling with it?

The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) defines depression as the feeling of being sad for more than two weeks. If it's left untreated, the disorder can impact family members or even put the person's life in jeopardy.

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If you're worried about yourself or a loved one, some of the most common symptoms include the following:

  • Change in sleep schedule
  • Change in appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of energy
  • Physical aches and pain
  • Suicidal thoughts

Causes of depression can range from a genetic predisposition to relationship issues or money problems.

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To help someone struggling with depression, you can see a therapist who focuses on interpersonal therapy or under the recommendation of a medical professional be prescribed medication to stabilize mood to help combat the illness.

For more information on treatment options and the disorder, visit NAMI's website.

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