What is a simple definition of depression?
Depression is a type of mood illness characterized by a continuous sense of melancholy and a loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a number of mental and physical difficulties. It’s also known as major depressive disorder or clinical depression. You may find it difficult to carry out day-to-day tasks, and you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
Depression is more than just a case of the blues, and it isn’t something you can “snap out of.” Depression may necessitate long-term therapy. Don’t be discouraged, though. Medication, counseling, or both help most people with depression.
Although depression might strike only once in a lifetime, most people have several episodes. Symptoms may occur most of the day, virtually every day, during these periods, and may include:
Sadness, weeping, emptiness, or a sense of hopelessness
Even over little issues, angry outbursts, impatience, or frustration might occur.
Loss of pleasure or interest in most or all usual activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports
Insomnia or sleeping too much are examples of sleep problems.
Due to exhaustion and a lack of energy, even simple tasks require extra effort.
Reduced food cravings and weight reduction, or increased food cravings and weight gain
Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness are all symptoms of anxiety.
Slowing down one’s thoughts, speech, or body motions
Feelings of inadequacy or remorse, ruminating on past failures or blaming oneself
Problems in thinking, concentrating, making judgments, and recalling information
Suicidal thoughts, attempts, or attempts at suicide are common or recurrent among those who have had frequent or persistent thoughts of death.
Physical issues that aren’t explained, such as back pain or migraines
Many persons with depression have significant symptoms that interfere with their day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities, or interpersonal relationships. Some people may be dissatisfied or wretched in general without knowing why.
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Symptoms of depression in adolescents and teenagers
Although the indications and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those in adults, there are important distinctions to be made.
Sadness, irritability, clinginess, concern, aches and pains, refusal to go to school, or being underweight are all indications of depression in young children.
Sadness, irritability, feelings of worthlessness, anger, poor performance or attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using recreational drugs or alcohol, overeating or sleeping, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction are all symptoms that teens may experience.
Symptoms of depression in older people
Depression is not a normal aspect of aging, and it should never be dismissed. Unfortunately, depression in older individuals is frequently undiagnosed and untreated, and they may be hesitant to seek help. In older persons, depression symptoms may be different or less noticeable, such as:
Memory problems or personality shifts
Aches and pains in the body
Fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep issues, or a lack of desire in sex – none of these symptoms are caused by a medical illness or medicine.
Rather than going out to interact or try new things, they prefer to stay at home.
Suicidal thoughts or impulses, particularly among elderly males
When should you see a doctor?
Make an appointment to see your doctor or a mental health expert as soon as possible if you are depressed. Talk to a friend or loved one, a health care professional, a religion leader, or someone else you trust if you’re hesitant to seek therapy.
When should you seek emergency assistance?
Call 911 or your local emergency number right away if you think you’re going to injure yourself or attempt suicide.
If you’re having suicide thoughts, you should also consider the following options:
Make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health expert
Call a suicide hotline, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK in the United States (1-800-273-8255). To access the Veterans Crisis Line, dial the same number and press “1.”
Make contact with a close friend or family member.
Make contact with a minister, spiritual leader, or another member of your religion group.
If you have a loved one who is suicidal or has attempted suicide, make sure someone is with them at all times. Immediately dial 911 or your local emergency number. Alternatively, if you believe it is safe to do so, take the person to the nearest hospital emergency department.