Everyone one feels a little sad sometimes, but depression is different. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, "Depression (also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression) can cause severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. It is an illness that can affect anyone— regardless of age, race, income, culture, or education. Research suggests that genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors play a role in depression."
The NIMH notes that depression is a medical condition, not just feeling sad for a few days, and it interferes with your day to day life.
Below are some resources to help you learn more about depression and generalized anxiety disorders, and how to approach getting help if you or if someone you care about seems depressed or anxious. Treatment options for depression or generalized anxiety disorder can include cognitive behavioral therapy and/or medication. Help is available, so read on to learn more. This page features resources from the UConn SHaW mental health circle of care as well.
This page also includes some memoirs where writers talk about their lives and past experiences with mental health.
Above: an illustration of the UConn SHaW mental health Circle of Care model
Are you not sure if you are suffering from clinical depression? Take the quiz below to find out.
If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local hospital.
UConn SHaW offers free and confidential 24/7 support for mental health crises. Crisis support is available during business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30) in the Arjona, 4th floor office. After-hours support is available by phone by calling 860-486-4705. Please note that 24/7 support is available during the fall and spring semesters. During summer and winter breaks, crisis support is available during business hours.
If you choose to call our office (during or after business hours) for crisis-support, please tell the receptionist that you are experiencing a crisis and wish to speak to the on-call therapist. Students will be seen or spoken to by the on-call therapist as soon as possible.
Examples of a mental health crises include: thoughts or plans to hurt yourself or someone else, engaging in life-threatening behaviors, and/or recent assault or trauma.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) is a condition which causes people to become sad or depressed when the days become short and they are exposed to less sunshine and Vitamin D. In New England, this can happen in the Fall and Winter. New Englanders can benefit from taking Vitamin D during the winter and also from using a SAD lamp (a 10,000 lux lamp which imitates daylight) during the mornings which can help elevate one's mood and regulate circadian rhythm.
The video below offers strategies for asking a loved one who may be suffering from depression, how they are doing, and to check-in.
Lots of people experience symptoms of anxiety. Sometimes these feelings are related to things that are stressful, like taking an exam or making a major life decision; at other times, they might be related to an anxiety disorder, which is a clinical condition. Some examples of common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. You can learn more about anxiety from the resources below.
Disclaimer: This content guide is meant to be solely informational in nature. It is not meant to provide professional care or recommendations. It includes general considerations, but readers should contact their medical provider for individualized advice, treatment, and recommendations.
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