Depression Can Happen to Anyone

Published: December 26, 2019

Before she was a famous author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling was a young, divorced, single mother who experienced thoughts of suicide. One doctor brushed off her concerns but another realized the seriousness of her symptoms and successfully treated her with cognitive behavioral therapy.

Depression is more than just feeling sad. It’s a serious condition that needs a good recovery plan and a good dose of understanding. With early detection, and a treatment plan, many people can start feeling better.

Symptoms of depression may include:

  • persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness
  • loss of interest in most normal activities
  • changes in sleep patterns
  • tiredness and lower energy level
  • anxiety, apathy, restlessness


Managing depression often requires treatment with counseling and possibly medication. If you think you are suffering from depression, discuss this with your primary care physician (PCP). With WHA as your health plan, you can also self-refer to see a mental health specialist. When self-referring, keep your PCP in the loop so that your medical and mental health services align with your individual needs.

Medication Treatment and Follow-up Care

There are many antidepressant medications available. Screening and evaluation by your PCP or a behavioral health professional can help them decide which medication to prescribe. Taking antidepressant medications as directed by your doctor is a key to successful treatment. Let your doctor know if you experience any side effects as medications can affect people differently; it may take one or two tries to get the right prescription for you.

Remember: Others have worked through their depression. Imagine if J.K. Rowling had not been around to write her Harry Potter books! She sought help, and so can you.

More information on depression can be found at the National Institute of Mental Health website.  WHA's Signs and Symptoms of Depression webpage has additional information as well.

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