Depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects how the patient feels, the way they think and how they act. It is unfortunate that it affects a large population of Americans but it can be treated. Every once in a while everyone feels sad, but a person who is depressed experiences sadness or despair that lasts for at least two weeks or longer. The individual feels hopeless and helpless and they more than often blame others for the way they feel. Depression affects people differently. Some people experience depressions just once in their lives but others have multiple episodes of depression.
Each Year, Nearly 20 Million Americans (9.5%) and 350 Million People Worldwide Suffer From Some Form Of Depression.
There are many symptoms of depression that one should look out for. The symptoms of depression are many but they affect people in different ways. Because of depression’s wide scope people can get confused about it. Below are some of the symptoms of depression that someone might experience:
Feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, sadness and tearful
Small matters make you frustrated and irritable and often have angry out bursts
Loss of pleasure or interest in most normal activities such as sports and hobbies
Sleep disturbances such as too much sleep or insomnia
Lack of energy and tiredness
Anxiety, agitation and restlessness
Slow thinking, body movements and speaking
Feelings of unworthiness, guilt fixating on past failures and blaming yourself for things you are not responsible of
Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
Frequent and recurring thoughts of death and suicide
It is worth noting that not everyone that experiences depression will experience all of the above symptoms.
If you want to find out if you are depressed there are many online tests that you can take or you can go to the doctor and be screened. The doctor will want to hear about your symptoms and he will ask a series of questions. The online test will also be a series of standard questions that help evaluate your condition. Remember the online test should not be final diagnosis, you need professional help. It is advisable to make an appointment at the doctor as soon as you can.
Types of Depression
There are different types of depressive condition. Below are the two common types of depression.
Bipolar disorder or manic depression
Bipolar is known to cause shifts in the mood, thinking, behavior and energy of the patient. They experience extremely high mania and low depressions. The cycles of manic depression last for days, weeks or even months. Unlike common mood swings, the mood changes for patients with manic depression are so intense that they interfere with their ability to function normally. The symptoms can be subtle and sometimes confusing and thus many suffering are misdiagnosed and they suffer unnecessarily. With proper treatment and support they can live a rich fulfilling life.
Major depression is also known as major depressive disorder. The persistent feeling of sadness and lack of interest characterize it. This disorder solely focuses of the lows and negative emotions. A mental health professional will make a diagnosis depending on your behavior, feelings and symptoms. The cause of major depression is not known but there are some factors that increase the risk of developing the condition. Genes and stress can affect the brain chemistry and hence reduce the ability to maintain mood stability.
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