Depression Symptoms

Daily Health Solutions, Depression, Healthy Living
on December 13, 2011
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Depression is an illness, and like any other should be treated with the same level of care, concern and seriousness as you would any health challenge. You can't just "snap out if it" or "cheer up." Depression requires professional help, in most cases, to treat it. As with many mental health conditions, depression ranges in type and severity. If you're concerned that you or someone you care about may be experiencing a form of depression, knowing how to spot the symptoms can be the first step toward getting help. Remember, depression is nothing to be ashamed of, it's not your fault, and you should seek treatment as aggressively as you would for diabetes, a thyroid condition or any other health matter.

Types and symptoms of depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are several types of depression. Dysthymia is a less severe and chronic form of depression that doesn't disable you, but keeps you from functioning at top performance and keeps you from feeling well. Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings. Major depression is a combination of symptoms that can occur once or several times over a lifetime. Some of the most common depression symptoms include:

  • sad empty mood that's seemingly constant
  • pessimistic feelings
  • guilt
  • worthlessness
  • hopelessness
  • loss of interest in things that were once pleasurable
  • fatigue or low energy
  • trouble focusing and making choices
  • changes in weight
  • changes in appetite
  • trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or waking too early
  • sleeping too much, or oversleeping
  • thoughts of suicide and death
  • suicide attempts
  • restlessness and irritability

Depression affects your whole body. Physical symptoms also occur with depression, and they often don't respond typically to routine treatment. You may experience:

  • chronic pain
  • digestive disorders
  • headaches

See your physician. It's often the hardest step in getting help for depression. But seeing your doctor if you're experiencing any of these symptoms is critical. Don't delay. Once you begin treating depression and the clouds part, you'll see with clarity and renewed strength, and likely will wonder what took you so long to act.