Depression has become an alarming common and major mental health concern, both on its own and as a symptom of more serious conditions like bipolar disorder. Despite the fact that most people experience depression, a majority of these individuals are often unaware of their depression until they get a diagnosis. However, indeed, depression is so common today that 3 out of 10 individuals experience at least one episode of depression in their lifetime. So what are the symptoms of depression?
Depression can exhibit itself in as many ways as it can be brought on. The good news is, once diagnosed, depression is highly treatable.
Becoming Familiar with the Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Depression symptoms that adults and younger individuals experience are nearly the same with the exception that the younger you are, the harder it may be to identify feelings and the need for professional help. While there is a common misconception that being depressed simply means being sad all the time, this is far from the truth. An individual experiencing depression can become sad and despondent, true, but depression does not simply mean feeling sad.
While teens and children exhibit symptoms such as sadness, irritability, neediness, negative feelings, and poor academic performance, the symptoms are more varied in adults.
- Feelings of sadness, despair, guilt, anger, and shame
- Losing interest in enjoyable activities, often including sexual intercourse
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Fatigue, body pain, and loss of energy
- Memory, concentration, and overall cognitive performance issues
- Loss of appetite or increased appetite
The severity of these symptoms varies individual-to-individual, but in most cases, a combination of some of these symptoms are enough to have a major impact on one’s everyday life and activities, and even their social and private life.
There are a lot of treatment options that address the symptoms of clinical depression. The two primary treatment approaches are medication, antidepressants specifically, and psychotherapy. Though, it is common practice to combine the use of antidepressants with therapy on a regular basis.
Depending on your case and symptoms, your doctor chooses an antidepressant that is ideal for you, but in some cases, there may be a trial-and-error period until the right medication is found. It is also important to have a strong emotional support system in addition to professional help such as close family members and friends who understand what you go through.
Depression is not a sign of weakness or just feeling sad; some people are genetically predisposed to depression simply due to a family history of the condition or chemical imbalances in the brain. It is vital to be informed about this common mental health condition and have a positive outlook.
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