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When is it More Than Just Being Sad?

When is it More Than Just Being Sad?

By Pam Dewey • May 07, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is unlike anything most of us have ever faced. No one can visit family and friends. Many people are facing job losses or decreased hours. Parents are juggling working from home with helping their children participate in distance learning. A simple trip to the grocery store is suddenly a risky endeavor. It is a perfect storm of stress, anxiety and fear.  

As people try to adjust to this new reality, some may find they are struggling. Still, it can be hard to know if what you’re facing is sadness, depression or it’s time to reach out for help.

“Many of the symptoms of depression are normal responses to the stress people are facing today,” says Aric Jensen, Fraser Senior Director of Mental Health. “However, that doesn’t mean that what people are feeling isn’t serious. I think many of us can benefit from mental health support right now. If you’re experiencing distress, don’t be afraid to reach out.”

Here are some symptoms of depression.

  • Extreme changes in sleeping patterns, which could be insomnia or hypersomnia (trouble staying awake)
  • Lack of pleasure in daily activities
  • Appetite changes that lead to overeating or decreased appetite
  • Feeling consistently fatigued or tired
  • Extreme feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Persistently feeling sad or melancholy
  • Feeling physical pains like headaches, stomachaches or ongoing aches and pains
  • Thinking about suicide or death repeatedly

You aren’t alone in being overwhelmed by everything going on in the world, so don’t pretend your feelings aren’t a big deal. Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Jensen says if you or someone you love is struggling with these issues, you should reach out to a mental health professional. Fraser is now offering a variety of mental health services, like individual and family therapy, virtually through telehealth or by telephone. You can also connect with a mental health expert today through the Fraser Hope Line at 612-446-HOPE (4673) or by emailing fraserhopeline@fraser.org. The free phone line is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.