For additional information or to get help, contact the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or visit:

Service members and their families experience unique emotional challenges. Deployment and redeployment, single parenting and long absences from loved ones are a stressful part of military life. At times, these events can lead to sadness, feelings of hopelessness and withdrawal from friends, families and colleagues. Parenting can feel more of a burden than a joy. We may feel irritable and even be neglectful of our children’s needs. When these feelings and behaviors appear, depression may be present. Seeking care for depression, for ourselves or loved ones takes energy and courage.

Symptoms of Depression

Symptoms of depression may include:

Use these signs and symptoms as you inventory your potential for depression. Share these feelings with your primary care manager, nurse case manager or social worker, so they can provide you with the best healing experience.

Helpful Tips for Managing Depression

The following health tips are important for managing mild depression and for optimizing your mental health:

If you believe you are suffering from severe depression and are having thoughts of death or suicide, contact a health care professional immediately. You can also talk to someone or get help through the Military Crisis Line  at 1-800-273-8255.

Additional Resources

For additional information on depression, please refer to:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is depression treatable?
I was diagnosed with major depression. What does that mean?
Is it normal to feel depressed around the holidays?

Is depression treatable?

Yes, the majority of people who are treated for depression will improve, even those with serious depression. Unfortunately, one-third of sufferers do not seek help, as they do not realize depression is a treatable illness.

I was diagnosed with major depression. What does that mean?

Major depression or major depressive disorder is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally. Some people may experience only a single episode within their lifetime, but more often a person may have multiple episodes. Depression is a common but serious illness and most need treatment to get better.

Is it normal to feel depressed around the holidays?

Feeling down during or after the holiday season is not uncommon. Preparing for the holidays, the increased expectations of family and friends, the sadness of not having a loved one present, or having to say good-bye after a holiday reunion can contribute to a person feeling down. However, if these symptoms persist or if you suspect it might be more serious, contact someone for help.

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