Depression is a cluster of emotional, physical and behavioral symptoms characterized by sadness, low self-esteem, loss of pleasure and, sometimes, difficulty functioning. We all experience occasional periods of feeling down. 

If these problems persist over time, cause real suffering and interfere with the business and pleasure of daily life, you may have a clinical depression.

Depression affects more than 15 million U.S. adults and is one of America’s costliest illnesses. If you think you may be depressed, it’s best to talk to your doctor.

Depression Screening Day is observed the first week in October; a screening tool is available on the Screening for Mental Health website at

If you or someone you love is suicidal, seek help immediately. You can call the national suicide prevention hotline at 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255) or go to your local emergency room.