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Depression Awareness

Depression is a very common problem and can manifest itself in many different ways, particularly between genders. Major depression affects approximately 14 million American adults (6.7% of the population) 18 years or older. Signs and symptoms of depression can be expressed in both physical and emotional ways.

The emotional symptoms are more recognizable signs of depression. These symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or numb
  • Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Irritability or anxiety
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Thoughts of death and suicide

The physical symptoms of depression can be associated with other conditions, particularly chronic pain etiologies. In fact, many people may not associate these symptoms with depression and may not seek the appropriate help to manage their depression. These symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Chest pain
  • Digestive problems
  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Of particular concern is depression in men. Research suggests that men are less likely to recognize their signs of depression and subsequently seek help due to cultural biases. Although men are half as likely as women to develop major depression - it is estimated that 10% to 17% of men will develop major depression at some point in their lives - the end result can be much more deadly: men are four times more likely to die from suicide than women.

Depression is treatable; if you or someone you know is exhibiting these signs it is important to seek appropriate medical attention.

Local Resources
If you need help and don't know where to turn, here are some resources to call.

  • Human Services, Inc. - 610-873-1010
    West Chester, Downingtown, Oxford and West Goshen. - Bilingual. - Insurance and medical assistance accepted, but not required.
  • Family Services of Chester County - 610-696-4900
    West Chester - Most insurance and medical assistance accepted. Sliding payment scale between $10-$90.
  • Catholic Social Services of West Chester - 610-344-7028
    Insurance accepted, but not required. Sliding payment scale for those without.
  • Life Counseling Services - 610-644-6464
    Thirteen offices in the Delaware Valley - Insurance (Personal Choice, HMO and Point of Care Services) accepted.
  • Main Line Health Behavioral Health Services
    1-888-CARE-898 - Offices in Delaware and Chester counties. - Crisis intervention, day programs and inpatient services. Insurance accepted, but not required.
  • Marjorie Johnson, DCSW, LCSW - 610-696-4443
    Ascend Consulting Inc., West Chester - Some insurances accepted.
  • Crisis Intervention of Chester County - 610-918-2100
  • Psychology Associates of Chester County - 610-873-4748 - Dennis Given, Ph.D. - Most insurances accepted.
  • West Chester Psychiatric Associates - 610-431-3920
    Stuart Levy, D.O. - Insurance not accepted. Out-of-pocket only.

Recognizing the symptoms of depression. WebMD.
Recognizing depression in men. Harvard Health Publication.

Last Updated: 1/31/2013