Depression More Than Just Blues
Posted January 17, 2003 2:34 a.m. EST
RALEIGH, N.C. — Each year on Oct. 10, thousands of people across the country take advantage of free, confidential testing as part of
National Depression Screening Day
Grace Thompson said she is alive today because she sought help. Thompson is happy with her life, but said it took a long time to get to this point.
"I hated life. As a child, I didn't want to live," she said.
Those feelings followed Thompson into adulthood.
"I was just crying and severely starting to drink and I was never a heavy drinker," she said.
At 30, Thompson was diagnosed with bipolar depression, a severe type of
According to psychotherapist Adam Adams, most people feel down at some point in their lives.
"If something has occurred in your life that is upsetting, and you're experiencing some symptoms that last a couple of days and then they go away and get back to normal, you pretty much have nothing to worry about," Adams said.
Experts are more concerned when people have trouble sleeping, eating or have suicidal feelings that do not go away.
"One in four women will experience clinical depression at some period in her life. [For] men, it's a little less than that," Adams said.
Of the estimated 20 million people with depression, less than 30 percent seek help, he said. Adams feels it is because they are still afraid to admit they are depressed. He said others, especially women, do not realize it is a problem.
"Many of them think it's normal, that it's perfectly part of being a middle-aged woman to feel that kind of depression," Adams said.
Thompson is glad she got help. With medication and regular therapy sessions, she said she feels like a different person and hopes others will take that first step and get help, too.
"A lot of people are afraid to walk through the door, I know. They have fear, I know. But it really works and makes you feel like a whole new person," Thompson said.
In some cases, depression can be genetic. If you have a family history and notice these feelings, it is important to get help.
For more information on depression screening call (919) 250-3100.