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Silent Epidemic

Depression
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Risk Factors
Depression
courtesy of 4H

Depression is among the world's older and more common ailments. Millions of Americans suffer from this condition, sometimes called the "common cold" of mental illness. You may know of depressed persons in your family or community. Knowing the symptoms may help you save a life.

Individual Depression
Many experts believe that some people's body chemistry makes them depression-prone, then stressful situations trigger the depression. While this triggering event differs from person to person, it often grows out of such occurrences as the loss of a loved one. For farmers, losing a crop or a loan often leads to depression.

Not all depressed people share the same symptoms. Some people exhibit many symptoms, others only a few. Here are some of them:

  • sad appearance, slow movements, and an unkempt look
  • guilt and low self-esteem
  • negative thoughts
  • reduced activity
  • reduced ability to concentrate
  • avoiding people
  • physical problems: weight loss or gain, trouble sleeping, headaches, and decreased interest in sex
  • suicidal thoughts

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