Trauma, such as, abuse, is one of the leading causes of depression next to; genetics, life circumstances, brain structure, and other medical conditions. The National Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health America have compiled a brief discussion on depression including; what causes depression, what depression feels like, what depression is not, how depression impacts a life, and tips for handling depression. Learn about these below and click the links on their names above to visit their websites for more information.

If you or someone you know experiences depression there are resources available to help. Visit to be connected with local services or contact The Shelter to speak with an advocate 800-931-7233. In an emergency dial 9-1-1.



Symptoms of depression include:

  • Changes in sleep. Many people have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping much longer than they used to. Waking up early in the morning is common for people with major depression.
  • Changes in appetite. Serious weight loss or gain when a person stops eating or uses food as a coping mechanism.
  • Lack of concentration. A person may be unable to focus. Even reading the newspaper or following the plot of a TV show can be difficult. It becomes harder to make decisions, big or small.
  • Loss of energy. People may feel profound fatigue, think slowly or be unable to perform normal daily routines.
  • Lack of interest. People may lose interest in their usual activities or lose the capacity to experience pleasure. A person may have no desire to eat or have sex.
  • Low self-esteem. During periods of depression, people dwell on losses or failures and feel excessive guilt and helplessness. Thoughts like “I am a loser” or “the world is a terrible place” or “I don’t want to be alive” can take over.
  • Hopelessness. A person can feel that nothing good will ever happen. Suicidal thoughts often follow these kinds of negative thoughts—and need to be taken seriously.
  • Changes in movement. People may look physically depleted or they may be agitated. For example, a person may wake early in the morning and pace the floor for hours.
  • Physical aches and pains. Instead of talking about their emotions or sadness, some people may complain about a headache or an upset stomach.

– See more at:

Visit Mental Health America Screening Tools to take a depression assessment. Visit to be connected with local services or contact The Shelter to speak with an advocate 800-931-7233. In an emergency dial 9-1-1.



1 Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 15-4927, NSDUH Series H-50). Retrieved from 2 3 .”NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness | NAMI Newsroom.” NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness – Mental Health Support, Education and Advocacy. N.p., n.d. Web. 4. Mental Health America. (n.d.) Learn more. Retrieved from:
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