Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain. It's more than just a feeling of being "down in the dumps" or "blue" for a few days. If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who have depression, the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life. Symptoms can include

  • Sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Change in weight
  • Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
  • Irritability (especially for men)
  • Energy loss
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression can run in families, and usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It is much more common in women. Women can also get postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Depression is one part of bipolar disorder.

There are effective treatments for depression, including antidepressants and talk therapy. Most people do best by using both.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call one of the national suicide prevention hotlines: 1-800-442-HOPE (800-442-4673) or 1-800-273-TALK (800-273-8255). In an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

Depression, National Institute of Mental Health
The National Institute of Mental Health, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, has information on depression, signs and symptoms, treatment and more.

Mental Health America
Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is a nonprofit organization that works with mental health and mental illness. Visit this site for more information on depression and other illnesses. And be sure to check out the fact sheets.

Depression, MedlinePlus
This site has information about depression, symptoms and treatment, as well as links to information on other websites.

Take a Confidential Screening Test

Screening tests can indicate if you might have depression, but they should not take the place of talking with your doctor. If you think you may have depression, call your family doctor or call Connections, a local mental health information and referral source, at 970-221-5551.

This confidential online screening may help you decide whether it's time to seek professional assistance for a mental health issue. This screening tool is provided through Mental Health Connections, a program provided by the Health District of Northern Larimer County and SummitStone Health Partners.

Screening Test, Mental Health America
This depression screening is provided by Mental Health America.

Local Resources

Mental Health Connections is a joint project of SummitStone Health Partners and the Health District, providing mental health and substance abuse resources for Larimer County residents.

Colorado Crisis Services
When you call Colorado Crisis Services, 1-844-493-8255, you will be connected to a trained crisis counselor. We provide confidential support, and staff is available 24/7/365. Walk-in crisis services are located across Colorado. In Fort Collins, the walk-in crisis center is at 1217 Riverside Ave., near Riverside and Lemay. For local assistance, call 970-494-4200.

Search this site to find a therapist or other mental health professional in the Fort Collins area.

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about depression, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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