Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you previously enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain 
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating 
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

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Grief is a normal reaction to a loss, which can be anything from the loss of a job to the death of a loved one. You may not be prepared for the intensity and duration of your emotions or how swiftly your moods may change. You may even begin to doubt the stability of your mental health. But be assured that these feelings are healthy and appropriate and will help you come to terms with your loss. Grief is likely to be expressed physically, emotionally, and psychologically. For instance, crying is a physical expression, while sadness is a psychological expression. Profound emotional reactions may occur including anxiety attacks, chronic fatigue, and thoughts of suicide. In some instances, grief may develop into depression.