Understanding depression and it's symptoms will allow you to take the first steps to feeling better.
Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life, but when emotions such as hopelessness and despair take hold and just won’t go away, you may have depression. More than just sadness in response to life’s struggles and setbacks, depression changes how you think, feel, and function in daily activities.
Not everyone who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. The severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time. The most common symptoms include:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
- Decreased energy, fatigue, or feeling “slowed down”
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide or actual suicide attempts
- Restlessness or irritability
It is important that you share your feelings with family, friends and your physician. It is wise to consult your doctor if you find depression affects normal daily function. It is often reported that depression that lasts more than two months can have biological repercussions and medication may be helpful.
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