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What Is Depression?

You or someone you care for might be asking, "What is depression?" Depression is characterized by feeling immense sadness, a lack of energy or interest in previously enjoyed pursuits, and a loss of appetite.

There are several forms of depression which can stem from life changes or biology. It is common for many of us to feel sad or hopeless about a specific situation or experience. This feeling will come and go throughout our life. But when it lasts, it is important to pay attention to those thoughts and feelings and start trying to find out what’s going on.

If you or someone you know is depressed—there are numerous ways to take action and fight against the narrative of depression. But, how do we know if we need to take action? The first key is to recognize where you or someone you care about are at.

Check out the video below for more insight:

What Is Depression? - Video Discussion

How Many Individuals Struggle?

  • Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year.

- National Institute of Mental Health

“Major Depression” 2017

  • Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men.

- Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003;

Jun 18; 289(23): 3095-105

  • 1.9 million children, 3 – 17, have diagnosed depression.

- Centers for Disease Control

“Data and Statistics on Children’s Mental Health”, 2018

  • 7 million adults aged 65 years and older are affected by depression.

- Centers for Disease Control, 2009

Is It Okay To Talk About Depression?

Yes. It is absolutely okay to talk about depression. There is no reason let a sense of shame or guilt silence you. The reasons why individuals face depression range from short-term incidents to life altering events. Some of these are internal. Others are external.

The reason, cause, or longevity behind each story affected by depression is valid—and we acknowledge depression can create major hurdles on the path to seeking wholeness. But that does not mean we do not fight—and fight well.

One of the ways we do that—is to talk about it.

Four Individuals Who Said Its Okay:

What Kind Of Help Exists?

The National Institute of Health reported up to 80% of individuals who were treated for depression began to show positive change within 4-6 weeks of treatment, which generally included medication, therapy, support groups, or a combination of these treatments.

This leaves us to ask, “What kind of help exists?”

The resources available for mental health issues and depression range from self-care suggestions to inpatient treatment facilities. The only way to know exactly what type of action you should take, the first key is to talk with a support professional.

There are a host of tools which can help you know steps to taking action. These include:

· Apps Which Offer Support

· Communities With Offer Support

· Finding A Professional

What Kind Of Help Exists? - Video Discussion

How Change Your Narrative Offers Support

It takes courage to begin a journey to seek wholeness. Though many of us will face individual struggles in our own life—there are some struggles which feel as if they have the power to take the pen and write our future.

You are the author—not any pain, brokenness, or hurt of your past and present.

The goal of Change Your Narrative is to create an environment of support along with hosting resources and tools which guide you towards wholeness.

One thought constantly pushes me towards the future. I would ask you the same question:

What if tomorrow was stronger than yesterday?

We are rooting for you, not only once you complete your journey, but every step through it.

If you are looking for a guide to help you process your story and walk a journey of wholeness - we would love to partner with you in the Depression Matters - Change Your Narrative Video Mentorship Guide.

Check out a sneak peak here:

Apps Which Offer Support

TalkLife offers online support similar to group therapy. Share anonymously or with your name.

Moodpath offers 14 days of check ins, providing an overview of your emotional well-being. Plus 100+


Happify includes games and activities which elevate mood and build resilience through CBT, mindfulness and positivity.

What’s Up aids individuals in discovering the cause of feelings and thoughts though guided questioning.

Self-Help For Anxiety Management (SAM) offers an anxiety toolkit which tracks thoughts and behaviors, while also offering tools to combat negativity.

Panic Relief provides coping strategies, exercise, and breathing techniques to help move through a moment of panic.

PTSD Coach provides ways to understand PTSD along with how to find additional help.

Communities Which Offer Support

To Write Love On Her Arms -

  • Offers a search for free or low cost therapy options to connect with a therapist.

7 Cups Of Tea -

  • Offers chat rooms to begin a conversation, plus educational videos and when to seek professional help.

Lifeline Crisis Chat -

  • Offers free, online chatting with trained individuals.

Love Is Respect -

  • Offers education, support and advocacy to those facing complicated dating issues, along with a live chat feature connecting you to trained advocated.

Remedy Live -

  • Offers a faith-based videos on mental health issues along with trained advocates who want to connect.

Anxiety And Depression Association Of America -

  • Provides a listing of support groups, including a search feature to find a group near you.

Heads Up Guys -

  • Provides action points and support specifically for men from men.

OK2 Talk -

  • Offers online support, education, and relatable stories for teens and young adults who battle mental health.

Resources For Those Who Offer Support

Healthline -

  • Offers a list of action steps you can take as you continue to care for someone. -

  • Provides a comprehensive overview of what the person you care for may be feeling or thinking, with links to various additional resources, including what questions to ask and what to say.

Resources for Parents

The American Depression And Anxiety Association of America has a screening tool for you to use and share with your child’s doctor. It can be found here:

  • Additionally, the Mayoclinic and CDC have helpful guides which can come along side of you as you find your child the support they might need.

NBC News created a check in with 14 questions to ask your child, in order to support and guide them if you wonder if they are anxious, depressed, or being bullied. created a guide for parents to know how to best support their children.

Support For Families

The National Alliance On Mental Illness has a directory of support groups for you and your family.

The Society For Adolescent Heath And Medicine has a comprehensive listing of additional support options.

The Depression And Bipolar Alliance Support Alliance offers connection to local chapters.

Family Caregiver Alliance provides a map of network help in your area.

Insight For Siblings

Community Training Tools

Mental Health First Aid

  • Offers intensive, 8-hour trainings worldwide on topics of mental health.

National Association Of Mental Illness, Community Presentation

  • [From their site:] NAMI Ending the Silence presentations include two leaders: one who shares an informative presentation and a young adult with a mental health condition who shares their journey of recovery.

My Younger Self – Videos:

  • The Child Mind Institute created the #MyYoungerSelf campaign which seeks to begin a conversation for children struggling with mental health. Their page hosts short video clips of actors, athletes, and influencers who share messages of their own journey to wholeness.

Resources For Teachers

Vantage Point Recovery

  • Guidance for teachers to help students who struggle with mental health disorders.

Classroom Mental Health

  • Provides insights for teachers to help guide students to navigate their mental health.

When Something’s Wrong – Strategies For Teachers

  • A Free PDF handbook for teachers

Resources For Ministry Leaders

Helping Young People Know How To Talk With Parents

Integrate Mental Health Awareness Into Your Programs:

Crisis Conversation Guides High School.

Rethinking Youth Ministry Podcast: Navigating Mental Health And Suicide In Your Ministry

Helping Parents And Youth Workers Understand The Basics Of Mental Health Illness. Free PDF.

How To Help A Student Struggling With Mental Health

7 Reasons Why Young People With Depression &

Anxiety Don’t Go To Church

A Letter To Youth Pastors About Mental Health.

  • Additionally, those within teaching roles inside of ministry positions may find some of the resources within the “Teachers” section of use for their roles.

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