Signs of Depression

Clinical depression is a mood disorder that affects people from all walks of life. For many fire fighters and paramedics, depression is often directly associated with the weight of the job’s daily demands and the traumatic calls they respond to. There are different types of clinical depression and symptoms can vary from one individual to the next. The IAFF Center of Excellence is committed to increasing awareness of depression and giving a voice to those members who would otherwise suffer in silence.

Clinical depression takes a toll on the personal and professional life of fire fighters or paramedics, but the good news is, depression is treatable. One of the distinguishing characteristics between clinical depression and general sadness is the duration and intensity of symptoms. During a major depressive episode, symptoms must last for at least two weeks.

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The following are some of the most common signs of depression:

Mental symptoms:

  • Chronic sadness or feeling of emptiness
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Recurring pessimistic thoughts
  • Memory problems
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • Feelings of guilt or helplessness
  • Anxiety or agitation
  • Irritability or frustration
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and enjoyable activities

Clinical depression is a serious mental health condition with the power to drastically affect anyone’s life as well as the lives of those around them. Spouses, children and other loved ones often suffer alongside the person who is struggling. For a fire fighter or paramedic, depression can interfere with work, which can potentially put the lives of others at risk. It can also push those in its path to drugs, alcohol or even suicide .

If you or a loved one is battling depression, help is available at the IAFF Center of Excellence. You owe it to yourself to get the treatment you need, and reaching out is the first step. Call today  to speak with someone who will listen, and discuss how you can get back to living a life you enjoy.

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