Depression: What is it?

depressionAre there times when you just don’t feel like getting out of bed, don’t want to do anything, or feel like everything is hopeless? We all feel blue from time to time, but if it persists and continues to affect the quality of your life, you might be depressed. Check out the National Institute of Mental Health’s website at: for types of depression and typical symptoms.

Are Women and Men Different When It Comes To Depression?

depressionWomen and men tend to handle depression differently, perhaps due in part to the way they are socialized differently from childhood. Women tend to seek medical help more readily when feeling depressed than do men, and as a result are diagnosed with depression more often than men. Men are less likely to admit to depression, and are less willing to seek help than women. They tend to mask depression by self-medicating with alcohol or drugs, and may exhibit symptoms of irritability or anger rather than hopelessness or helplessness.

CNN has a good article from the Mayo Clinic on understanding the gender GAP at: .

Review recent research findings on women and depression at:

See and hear some examples of "Real Men/Real Depression" at this website: and click on Men under " Related Information" or call 800-227-6464.

What Can I Do About Depression?

Feeling stuck? There is something that you can do to help. If you want to make changes in how you feel, consider some of the suggestions on the University of Texas website:

It also offers beneficial strategies for coping with depression - check it out!

Want more suggestions to relieve depression? Oregon State University 's website gives coping strategies such as keeping a journal, talking with a friend, regular exercise, etc. as useful examples that work for some people. They might be helpful to you or a friend. Log onto: and go to discussion topic "What can I do to relieve depression?"


Helping a Depressed Friend

It can be difficult knowing a friend is suffering and not knowing how to help. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers information on this topic on their website:

Another website useful as a guide for students discussing what to do when a friend is depressed can be found at:



If you are interested in taking a self test for depression, consider one of these websites:




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