Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

A diagnosis of major depression represents an often debilitating illness that affects approximately 9.1% of adults in the United States. A clinical case of depression is separated from everyday blues in terms of the duration and severity of depressive symptoms. Periodic bouts of sadness or a depressed mood that lasts a few days are relatively common, but are not the same as major depression.

Here is a list of the signs or symptoms of major depression:
·         Sadness, depressed mood, crying over seemingly minor setbacks
·         Increased irritability, crankiness, difficulty being satisfied
·         More easily frustrated, gives up quickly after initial failures
·         Poor self-concept, low self-esteem, reluctance toward attempting endeavors
·         Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities
·         Changes in appetite (decreased appetite most common) often signaled by rapid weight gain or loss.
·         Changes in sleep patterns (not enough or too much sleep)
·         Slowed, inhibited actions (slow, soft speech; slowed body movements).
·         Fatigue, loss of pep and energy
·         Poor concentration, attention and/or memory.
·         Thoughts or words about death or suicide.

Most people will experience some of these symptoms from time to time, but in order for it to be considered major depression; you should be experiencing at least 5 of these symptoms, continuously, for at least 2 weeks.

Depression is not grieving. Grieving the loss of a loved one may include some or all of the symptoms of depression. However, it's important to remember that these feelings of sadness, physical, and emotional fatigue are often a normal part of the grieving process. It is possible that an extremely long period of grieving may develop into an episode of depression, but that is a fairly rare experience.

Depression is more common in adults than in children, but it does occur in children. When children are depressed, their symptoms might be different from adults. For example, rather than showing sadness or crying, some children behave badly or show a lot of anger. They may be more cranky than usual, become picky about food, or may show a lack of interest in their usual activities.

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