What You Need To Know About: Depression

This is the second entry in a six part series brought to you by Healthy Blue LivingSM, a highly successful health care plan that rewards people who commit to making better health choices by focusing on six high-impact measures of health. Healthy Blue Living is celebrating its Fifth Anniversary by inviting YOU to make a pledge and tell us what you will do over the next five years to improve your health.

Depression is an affective disorder that falls under mental illness, and is distinguished by sadness, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, discouragement, despair, fatigue, fluctuation in weight, and other symptoms. Besides being the number one cause of disability worldwide, depression can increase a person’s chance of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Here’s what you need to know about depression:

Misconceptions

Depression is frequently misunderstood as a sign of weakness and not recognized as an illness. For this reason that depression is often left untreated, which can lead to relationship struggles for the individual at home, at work and in other public settings.

How to Recognize Depression

Everyone can relate to being in a bad mood, feeling sad or down once and a while.  With depression, that “bad mood” feeling lasts for weeks, months or even years. Depression interferes with a person’s concentration, energy and motivation, and affects those who interact with a depressed individual. If you think you may have signs of depression make an appointment with your doctor to talk about how you are feeling.

Healthy Blue Living Connection

To earn the enhanced benefit level with lower out of pocket costs, Healthy Blue Living members need to work with doctor to get any depression symptoms they may be experiencing into remission.

How to Combat Depression

There are many ways you can fight factors that contribute to depression, including:

  • Regular exercise
  • Regular sleep
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t drink alcohol in excess
  • Eat nutritious foods

In addition to the suggested lifestyle changes to combat depression, try your best to think positively and approach each situation by making an honest effort to look on the bright side of things. Most importantly, remember that depression takes time to treat and you need to have patience with yourself.

Blue Care Network also gives customers access to behavioral health services 24 hours a day seven days a week by going online or calling the number on the back of their ID card.

Depression information used in this blog post came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Photo credit: Depression-survival.com

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