1. Women are twice as likely as men to show signs of depression—especially during their childbearing years. Depression affects 1 in 4 women at some point during their lifetime. And they are at the greatest risk during pregnancy and shortly after delivery.
  1. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve symptoms of depression. The feel-good chemicals it produces elevates your mood.  To improve depression symptoms, aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise three to five days a week.

  1. We think of persistent sadness as a sign of depression. But irritability is an often-overlooked sign.  Since men aren’t taught to express their emotions, they internalize them.  So symptoms of depression in men can manifest as anger, aggression, and irritability.
  1. Children whose parents struggled with depression are at a high risk for developing depression themselves. If a mother feels depressed and has difficulty bonding with her child, that child may develop behavior problems or struggle with anxiety as they get older.
  1. Depression is not just in your head. After all, it affects the whole body.  Fatigue, headaches, digestion problems, back pain, and shortness of breath can all be symptoms of depression.  And some people who struggle with depression stop taking care of themselves—making them more susceptible to illness.
  1. Someone who struggles with depression may not seem “depressed.” Many people—and especially high achievers—cope with feeling depressed by acting the opposite of how they feel.  Instead of appearing sad, they seem busy.  But that, ultimately, won’t work.
  1. Not all episodes of depression happen after a negative life event. Some happen after a positive life event such as getting married, having a child, or starting a new job.  Positive life events represent change—a challenge for individuals who struggle with depression.
  1. Do you drink to cope?  If so, it may be a sign that you struggle with depression.  When people feel depressed, they often try to drown their sorrows in alcohol.  But alcohol is a depressant.  So reaching for another sip will only make you feel worse.