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Depression

When people complain about feeling "blah" or feeling down, it can be caused by events or stress that catch the person off-guard and ill-equipped to handle it in that moment. The big difference in the blues and major depression is bad feelings pass fairly quickly (in a few days or less) in comparison to true major depression where the symptoms will progressively intensify and be on-going without intervention.

If you are seeking information about depression, it is likely you are wondering if you or the person you are concerned about is experiencing actual depression or just “the blues.” The following description or symptoms of depression should help determine if medical attention is needed.
When people complain about feeling “blah” or feeling down, it can be caused by events or stress that catch the person off-guard and ill-equipped to handle it in that moment. The big difference in the blues and major depression is bad feelings pass fairly quickly (in a few days or less) in comparison to true major depression where the symptoms will progressively intensify and be on-going without intervention.

Symptoms

At least three of the following symptoms need to be present for six months for diagnosis:
  • Ongoing sad, anxious or empty feelings (two weeks or more)
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
  • Feeling irritable or restless
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once enjoyable, including sex
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details or difficulty making decisions
  • Feelings interfere with work or regular routine
  • Not able to go to sleep or stay asleep (insomnia); may wake in the middle of the night or sleep all the time
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Continual thoughts of suicide, making suicide plans or attempts
  • Ongoing aches and pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not go away
  • Social isolation
  • Physical slowing or agitation for more than a few days
Contact your health care provider if you are experiencing these symptoms

TRICARE covers mental/behavioral health care that is medically or psychologically necessary. There are many different types of outpatient and inpatient mental/behavioral health care and the coverage varies by the type of care.