October is Depression Awareness Month

  • Published
  • By Susan Alexander, 45th Space Wing Violence Prevention Director

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression is not just having “the blues” or the emotions we feel when grieving the loss of a loved one. It is a true medical condition that is treatable, like diabetes or hypertension. 


Someone who is depressed has feelings of sadness or anxiety that last for weeks at a time. He or she may also experience:

•Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism

•Irritability, restlessness

•Loss of interest in activities or hobbies

•Fatigue and decreased energy

•Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

•Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping

•Overeating or appetite loss

•Suicide ideation or attempts

•Aches, pains, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment.


If you are experiencing depression:

•See a health care provider or mental health professional

•Avoid self-medication with alcohol or drugs not prescribed

•Try to be active/exercise

•Break up large tasks into small ones, set priorities and only do what you can


If you know someone experiencing depression:

•Help him/her see a health care provider or mental health professional

•Offer support, understanding, and encouragement

•Invite them out for walks, outings and other activities

•Never ignore comments about suicide (remember ACE: Ask, Care, Escort).


The Below Resources Are Available to Assist:

* PAFB Mental Health: 321-494-8234

* PAFB Chaplain: 321-494-4073

* Military/Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1

* Employee Assistance Program: 1-800-222-0364 or TTY 1-888-262-7848

* Military Family Life Counselor: 321-494-2273

* Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

* Anxiety and Depression Association of America - 1-240-485-1001 or www.adaa.org