Depression

Embrace the whole you.

Mental and physical well-being go hand-in-hand. Don’t let depression stop you from living life to its fullest.

Depression

What is depression?

Depression is an illness that can cause intense emotional and physical symptoms. Depression also affects your total health and well-being. If you’re struggling with depression, you may experience:

  • Sadness or hopelessness that won’t go away
  • Loss of interest in activities you’ve always enjoyed
  • Physical signs like pain or feeling unusually tired
  • Suicidal thoughts

Learn more about depression here.

Understanding types of depression

Grief is not a type of depression, but its symptoms and treatment can be similar:

Is it more than depression?

Depression can happen alongside other issues and conditions, including:

Learn more about anxiety, chronic illness, and other factors that may contribute to depression.

How can I find out if I may have depression?

If you’re 18 or older, you can take this self-assessment quiz. You can also get more information on care and resources. This is not a substitute for talking with your doctor, who can help you with treatment.

Is depression simply a “chemical imbalance” in the brain?

Depression is very complex, involving serotonin, brain cell connections, and much more. Understanding the science behind depression and its symptoms is often empowering to those who suffer from it.

View this video to learn more about what happens in the brain during depression.

How can I help myself?

Engaging in self-care can often make a big difference. If you’re struggling with depression:

Try some apps developed by the Center for Behavioral Health Intervention Technologies, at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. They are free from Google Play, and include:

  • Thought Challenger, to reinforce positive thoughts
  • iCope, for encouraging and reassuring messages you create
  • Purple Chill, for exercises on mindfulness, muscle relaxation, and visualization
  • Slumber Time, to get a better night’s rest with a bedtime checklist, sleep diary, and customizable alarm
  • Daily Feats, to help you incorporate worthwhile and productive activities into your day

If you’re a Kaiser Permanente member, you can also use a free online program to help you find relief before, during, and after treatment.

Depression

What if I need help right now?

If you feel like you can’t cope, life is very difficult, or your life isn’t worth living, get help now.

For quick attention, you can:

  • Call Kaiser Permanente Behavioral Health Crisis at 503-331-6425 or 1-866-453-3932 (toll free). It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Caring, experienced Kaiser Permanente team members will evaluate your situation and find the right care for you.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (available 24 hours a day). Local crisis workers will listen and help.
    • 1-800-273-8255
    • 1-800-799-4889 (TTY for hearing and speech impaired)

Depression and abuse

People who live with abuse often struggle with depression. If someone is hurting you, tell your doctor or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE to get help.

Are there any other ways I can get help?

As you deal with your depression, a health coach can offer support along with coping strategies.

We encourage you to learn more about our health coaching sessions.

You also can find more health and wellness info with podcasts and videos at kp.org/mydoctor/healthtalks, and with free live and recorded webinars at kpwebinar.org.

Looking for more?

To discuss treatment needs or set up an appointment, please call the Kaiser Permanente Mental Health Department, 503-249-3434 or 1-855-632-8280 (toll free).