October is National Depression Awareness and National Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness Month. Organizations and communities across the United States will use this time to educate the public about the various signs and symptoms of depression and domestic violence. For those who suffer, there is help.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health website at www.nimh.nih.gov, depression can strike anyone at any time and has no single cause. “Depression can be the result of a combination of genetic, biochemical, environmental and psychological factors”. 
The National Institute of Mental Health lists the following as common signs of depression:
- Loss of interest including withdrawal from friends and family
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- Loss of energy and difficulty concentrating
- Low self-esteem
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
- Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
If you, or someone you know, are experiencing depression or thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK to speak with an experienced counselor. As always, in case of emergency, always dial 911.
Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness
The statistics are staggering:
“On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.” 
“1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.“
Domestic abuse, also known as “battering”, is a pattern of abuse by one partner against the other for the purpose of exerting and maintaining power and control over the other person. According to East Texas Crisis Center , common signs of domestic violence include the following behaviors being inflicted on a person:
- Destructive Criticism/Verbal Abuse
- Abusing Authority
- Jealousy and possessiveness
- Stalking or monitoring of behavior
- Abusing trust and breaking promises
- Emotional Withholding
- Minimizing, Denying & Blaming
- Economic Control
- Self-Destructive Behavior
- Isolation or restriction from friends and family
- Destruction of property
- Threats and intimidation
- Sexual and Physical Violence
If you, or someone you know, is suffering from domestic abuse, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). They offer support, resources and safety advice 24/7, 365 days a year. As always, in case of emergency, always dial 911.
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