When it comes to depression, most people have an idea of what the condition consists of but do not truly understand what having depression means. By learning the basics of depression, adults can determine if they need to seek a diagnosis or find help for loved ones who may be affected by the condition.
What is Depression?
Everyone can feel sad or down and out from time to time. These feelings usually pass. However, for some people, they do not. Depression is a mood disorder that can cause symptoms that affect the way you feel and think as well as how you go about your daily activities. You may have trouble sleeping, eating, working or socializing with others. For depression to be diagnosed, you must have symptoms that are present for more than a two-week time frame and symptoms that take place almost every day for nearly all of the day.
Two Common Forms of Depression
There are several forms of depression, but two common forms that are the most frequently diagnosed. These are Major Depression and Persistent Depressive Disorder. With Major Depression, an individual will have symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day for two weeks or more. Daily activities like sleeping, eating or going to work are affected.
With Persistent Depressive Disorder, symptoms will last for two years or longer. A person diagnosed with this form of depression can have episodes of major depression as well as times when the symptoms are less severe.
Understanding the Signs of Depression
When you feel that you might be suffering from depression, it is essential that you understand the signs. Symptoms will vary depending on the individual, but there are common signs that are seen among those diagnosed with some form of depression.
These signs can include:
- Sadness, feeling anxious or an ‘empty’ feeling
- Hopelessness or pessimism feelings
- Feeling worthless
- Losing interest in hobbies or activities that were once pleasurable
- Loss of energy, feeling fatigued
- Have trouble concentrating or making decisions
- Trouble sleeping, oversleeping or waking early
- Weight changes or changes in appetite
- Feeling irritable or restless
If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to be evaluated by a physician. Once diagnosed, you can begin treatment in order to feel better. With a variety of treatment types available, there are a number of methods you can try to combat depression including counseling, medication, meditation or alternative methods like Clear Mind Neurofeedback or Matrix Regeneration Therapy. Being diagnosed is the first step to relieving feelings of depression.