What are the signs of depression?
National public health officials in Washington and Boston are urging people to be vigilant about symptoms of depression and avoid binge drinking, socializing too much and going out at night.
They are calling for people to stay home from work, socialize less, stay away from socializing during the day and stop playing video games and TV shows, especially in the early morning hours.
The latest warning comes as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported an increase in cases of depression, with many cases in young people and in those with family history of depression.
Dr. Amy J. Piotrowski, the director of the National Institute of Mental Health, said Thursday that there are more than a million Americans living with depression, and more than 5,000 new cases each week.
She said more people are dying of depression each year than are alive.
Piotrowsky, who is a member of the NIH’s Division of Depression and Anxiety Disorders, said many people with depression can’t take their medications and don’t get treatment because of a lack of resources and stigma.
She also said there is a lack on research to identify and treat depression.
Pietski told reporters Thursday that mental health professionals in the U, D.C., and Boston need to take a holistic approach to treating depression and encouraging people to get the help they need.
Pets, tooPets and cats can be at risk of developing depression, too.
In Boston, more than 4,000 cats and dogs were euthanized by Boston Animal Services on Thursday, a spokesman for the city said.
The animal control agency is calling for a review of how animals are euthanased in the city, and to require animal shelters to provide pet-friendly spaces for pets.
More than 20 percent of Boston residents have an animal, according to a 2013 survey by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.