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  • Depression, in its various forms, is more common than most would think. According to about 10% of the American population over the age of 18 have experienced depression. This statistic does not account for the early adolescent years, accounting for this could increase this statistic substantially. Depression can impact the ways in which one thinks, feels, and functions. For a diagnosis of depression, the time requirement states that symptoms have been present for two or more weeks.

    What are the symptoms of depression?

    • Feeling sad most of the day, nearly everyday
    • Feeling a sense of hopelessness
    • Fatigue or lack of energy
    • Lack of interest or pleasure in activities
    • Irritability
    • Appetite or weight change
    • Sleep disturbance (trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, or sleeping too much)
    • Moving or talking more slowly, or more quickly, than normal
    • Feeling restless or fidgeting
    • Decreased ability to focus, remember, or make decisions
    • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
    • Thoughts of suicide or death, or attempt to end one’s life

    All symptoms are not experienced by every individual, some may only experience a few of the symptoms listed above. The frequency and severity to which one experiences symptoms will also vary from one individual to the next, and without treatment may worsen over time.

    Contributing/Risk Factors may include:

    • Trauma
    • Stress
    • Physical illness
    • Medications
    • Individual or family history
    • Life changes

    What can you do?

    • Seek treatment from a mental health professional
    • Consider the possibility that medication might be helpful, at least temporarily
    • Increase exercise
    • Talk to friends or family
    • Make a conscious effort not to isolate yourself from others

    For more information refer to the National Institute for Mental Health website or make an appointment with a licensed mental health therapist here at New Heights Counseling.


    New Heights Counseling team of therapists are dedicated to their clients’ care and services Fort Walton, Niceville, and surrounding communities.