May is Mental Health Month. The week of May 7-13 is both Children’s Mental Health Week and National Mental Health Counseling Week.
According to the National Mental Health Association (NMHA), 19 million Americans are diagnosed with clinical depression each year.
Diagnosing one’s own mental health is difficult, however, the NMHA offers tips on what to be on the lookout for:
• Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
• Changes in sleep patterns
• Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
• Loss of pleasure and interest in once-enjoyable activities, including sex
• Restlessness, irritability
• Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as chronic pain or digestive disorders
• Difficulty concentrating at work or at school, or difficulty remembering things or making decisions
• Fatigue or loss of energy
• Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
• Thoughts of suicide or death
For more information on depression and mental health, go to www.nmha.org.