Finding Help for Depression Through Military Support Programs

*Military OneSource does not provide medical counseling services for issues such as depression, substance abuse, suicide prevention or post-traumatic stress disorder. The article below is intended for informational purposes only. Military OneSource can provide referrals to your local military treatment facility, TRICARE or another appropriate resource.

Life has its ups and downs. We all go through times when we may feel a little overwhelmed or stressed because of deployments, relocations or just because of the everyday demands of life. But clinical depression is another issue altogether. Depression can be very serious, but it is treatable if you get the support and resources you need. The following tips will help you recognize depression and find ways to get help.

Symptoms of depression

  • Persistent sadness or anxiety — This includes feelings of irritability, panic or restlessness and episodes of crying or tearfulness.
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism or helplessness — This includes feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt.
  • Not wanting to leave the house — This includes withdrawing from friends and family.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in life — This can include a loss of interest in sex or other activities that were once pleasurable.
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns — This includes difficulty falling or staying asleep or sleeping too much. It can also cause sudden weight loss or gain.
  • Decreased energy — This can include a lack of motivation.
  • Difficulty concentrating — This can include memory loss and difficulty making decisions.
  • Persistent physical symptoms — This can include headaches, digestive disorders or back pain.
  • Alcohol or substance abuse — This may include a significant increase in the amount of alcohol you are consuming on a regular basis.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide — Contact a health care professional immediately if there are thoughts or talk of suicide. You can also contact the Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255.

Ways to find help

Military support programs offer service members and their families confidential, non-medical counseling designed to address issues such as relationships, stress management, adjustment (returning from deployment, for example) and grief and loss. However, non-medical counseling is not appropriate for depression and other serious mental health issues.

If you believe that you or someone you know may be experiencing depression, you can find the support and resources you need through the local military treatment facility, TRICARE or through a medical counseling provider in your civilian community. Your primary care provider should be able to give you a referral for medical counseling services near your home. You can also speak with a Military OneSource consultant at 800-342-9647 for an appropriate referral.



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