What is depression?
Depression is a mood disorder that occurs when feelings associated with sadness and hopelessness continue for long periods of time and interrupt regular thought patterns. It can affect your behavior and your relationship with other people. Depression doesn’t discriminate—it can affect anyone of any age, gender, race, ethnicity, or religion. In 2012, an estimated 16 million adults experienced depression, according to the NIH.
It’s normal for survivors to have feelings of sadness, unhappiness, and hopelessness. If these feelings persist for an extended period of time, it may be an indicator of depression. Depression is not a sign of weakness and it’s not something you should be expected to “snap out of.” It’s a serious mental health condition and survivors can often benefit from the help of a professional.
When should I get help?
You might have a difficult time coming forward about the possibility of depression because you think you’re just “feeling down.” If these feelings are interfering with your daily life, know that there is help available.
To find a mental health facility or program, you can use the Mental Health Treatment Locator function from the The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Find the center that is closest to you and best fits your needs.
There are also apps and websites that can help you manage some of these feelings. Finding Optimism is an mobile app and website that can be helpful for people who struggle with depression or anyone who wants to improve their mental health. You can use it to identify what might be causing "bad days" and what coping strategies are most effective for dealing with those scenarios.
To speak with someone who is trained to help, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE(4673) or chat online at online.rainn.org.
Please note that content on this site does not constitute medical advice and RAINN is not a medical expert. If after reading this information you have further questions, please contact a local healthcare professional or hospital.