Staring out the window on a gloomy day is enough to make many people feel blue. But for those with depression, what was once a kaleidoscope of colors is now completely gray.
"People often lose interest in things they used to be interested in. They stop being able to enjoy things they previously enjoyed. Many withdraw from family or friends."
And like a continuous current going downstream, the feelings of sadness and despair are never-ending.
"Many people are able to put on a smiling face for the world and go out and function and then just collapse when they get home."
While the National Institute for Health reports 19 million Americans suffer from the illness, nearly two-thirds do not seek treatment.
"People might see it as a sign of weakness or laziness. But it's very important people realize it's not. it's a medical condition just like diabetes or high blood pressure."
So psychiatrist Dr. Robert Bielski of the Institute for Health Studies says it's important to get help through counseling or medication.
"It's a condition that tends to worsen over time unless someone gets adequate treatment for it. And as it worsens, people gradually become less able to do the things they're responsible for."
The Institute for Health Studies in Okemos is offering free depression screenings on Thursday, October 5th. It's located at 4084 Okemos Road. To schedule a screening call (517) 349-5525 or log on to their website at www.instituteforhealthstudies.com.