Depression is a very serious medical condition that affects a person’s mood, physical well-being, and cognition. Occasionally everyone feels sad, but these feelings usually diminish within a couple of days. When someone is experiencing depression, it interrupts his/her daily life and routine, such as going to work, attending school, relationships with family, and taking care of loved ones. Depression causes pain not only for the person who has it, but also for those who care about him/her.

Depression can run in families, and usually begins between the ages of 15 and 30. Young children and teenagers can also be susceptible to depression. Stress and hormonal changes, the loss of a loved one or traumatic events may trigger depression at any age. Depression occurs at a higher rate among gay men and lesbians than the general population. Many believe that this is a result of growing up in a homophobic society, facing rejection from family, and the added stress that accompany being closeted. It is not uncommon for depressed people to attempt to self-medicate through the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

What are the symptoms of depression?

  • Ongoing anxious, sad or blank feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness or insignificance
  • Feelings of guilt, shame or being worthless to yourself and others
  • Feeling irritable or restless
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that were once pleasurable (including sex)
  • Feeling exhausted all the time
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or trouble making decisions
  • Not able to fall asleep or stay asleep (insomnia); may get up in the middle of the night, or sleep all the time
  • Loss of appetite or eating too much
  • Thoughts of suicide or attempting suicide
  • Ongoing aches and pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that persist

Not everyone diagnosed with depression will have all of the above symptoms. The signs and symptoms may not be the same in men, women, younger children and older adults.

Information provided by the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association & National Institutes of Health.

Is there help out there for depression?

Yes. Since 1986 Pride Institute has been helping LGBT people recover from depression. Take the next step now. Call 1.800.585.7257 (877-PRIDE-46) or click here to contact a member of our staff. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Treatment Programs
Substance abuse and mental health treatment at Pride Institute is provided in an environment that is highly affirmative to the LGBT community. Mental health treatment services are offered using a cognitive behavioral platform that allows us to help you make changes to both your thoughts and your behaviors.