September is Suicide Prevention month. Stressors of modern society can increase the risk of depression in both teenagers and adults. Depression is a medical condition caused by an imbalance of chemicals in the brain. Depression is marked by a period of stress, sadness, and crabbiness more prolonged than warranted by life circumstance. Signs of depression include cranky mood, loss of interest in activities, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, sleeping or eating more (or less), vague physical complaints, frequent work or school absences or poor performance, reckless behavior, being bored, alcohol or substance abuse. If you or your son/daughter/friend/loved one may have depression, get help! Depression can lead to suicidal thoughts, which can be very harmful or fatal. There are many new and old treatments for depression and your medical providers would be happy to assist you with discussing diagnosis and treatment. If your loved one is suicidal, please get immediate emergency help, or call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Dr. Sylvia Anderson