Many people shrug depression off as a flaw

Imagine one day you are not feeling so good. You say it is just because it is Monday or because you have a test. But what happens when that day turns into a week, and that week into a month? 

Depression is a serious illness among all people including blacks.  In any given one-year period, 9.5 percent (20.9 million) Americans suffer from clinical depression.

In 2004, 8 percent of adults 18 and older reported having at least one depressive episode during 2003-2004.

Symptoms of depression include irritability, significant weight loss or gain over a month, increased or decreased sleep and daily feelings of worthlessness. Other symptoms include inability to concentrate and recurring thoughts of death. 

One common type of clinical depression that is among blacks is bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is also called manic-depressive disease. The disease takes a person from a sense of happiness to a state of extreme sadness.

But the sad part is that 54 percent of people see depression as a personal weakness rather than a serious disease. And, it would be to your benefit if you do not become one of those people.

If you or someone you know may be depressed, seek professional help immediately. 

Treatments for clinical depression include medication, psychotherapy or a combination of both.

You can take a depression-screening test at if you think that you might be depressed. There are also many clinics in the Tallahassee area you should visit if depression is your problem.

Depression is a serious issue in all communities. It is imperative to be aware of the warning signs in an effort to save you time and pain later.

Angelica Washington for the editorial board.