Depression is a severe medical illness that negatively affects how the victim feels, and the way they think and act. Unfortunately, it involves a large population of Americans.
Every once in a while, most people feel sadness, but a person who is depressed experiences despair that lasts for at least two weeks or longer. After that, the individual feels hopeless and helpless, and they often blame others for the way they think.
It affects people differently. Some people experience it just once in their lives, but others have multiple episodes.
- Nearly 20 million Americans (9.5%) and 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression.
There are many symptoms of depression. Because of its broad scope, people can get confused. 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 you often have angry outbursts
- Loss of pleasure or interest in everyday 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
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
- Frequent and recurring thoughts of death and suicide
It is worth noting not everyone who experiences depression will experience all of the above symptoms.
If you want to find out if you are depressed, you can take many online tests or go to the doctor. The doctor will want to hear about your symptoms, and he will ask a series of questions.
This online test will also be a series of standard questions that help evaluate the condition. Remember, the online test should not be a final diagnosis. Please seek professional help. It is advisable to make an appointment with the doctor as soon as possible.
There are different types of depressive disorder. Below are the two common types of depression.
Bipolar disorder is known to cause swings in mood, thinking, behavior and energy. They experience high mania and low depression cycles.
The cycles of manic depression can 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. Yet, with proper treatment and support, they can live a fulfilling life.
Major depression is also known as major depressive disorder. The persistent feeling of sadness and lack of interest characterizes it.
This disorder solely focuses on lows and negative emotions. A mental health professional will make a diagnosis depending on your behavior, feelings, and symptoms.
The cause is not known, but some factors increase the risk of developing the condition. For example, stress can affect brain chemistry and hence reduce the ability to maintain stability.