Have you noticed that you are feeling sad, or find it hard to stay hopeful about the future? Many in the immigrant community are feeling anxious about deportations and raids because of the current political climate and changes. This is a normal reaction to stressful policy developments and difficult personal situations. However, if these feelings persist for more than two weeks, and strengthen to the point where they affect your ability to go to work, school, or to have positive interactions with other people, you may be experiencing clinical depression.
Depression (major depressive disorder) 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. It affects one in fifteen adults (6.7%) in a given year, so if you are experiencing any of these feelings you are not alone.
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above, make an appointment with a health practitioner. They can help evaluate your symptoms, and provide treatment.