Depression. It maybe more than just holiday blues.

Did you know that 1 in 10 Adults report being chronically depressed? Depression is a mental illness that is both costly and debilitating to sufferers. It can negatively affect the outcomes of various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis and cardiovascular disease. It affects worker performance with increased absenteeism and decreased productivity.

Those that are most at risk for major depression are women, persons 45-64 of age, blacks and Hispanics, the uninsured, and those with less than a high school education.

Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness or anxiety that lasts weeks at a time, but also may include feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, restlessness, fatigue and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.

The good news is that depression is a treatable medical condition that can be treated with anti- depression drugs and/or psychotherapy. So if you have a loved one that is depressed, offer to go with him or her to see a healthcare provider that can diagnose and treat their condition.

If you want more information on depression or need help with depression, Mercy Memorial Hospital will be offering a free health seminar on depression as part of the Passport to Wellness health seminars. The seminar, “Sadness in the Midst of Joy”, is December 16th at 6:30 pm at Mercy Memorial Hospital.