Identify Signs of Depression

walking alone

About 25 million Americans suffer from depression each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

If you think that you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, it is important to understand some of the warning signs so that medical treatment is sought.

Long-term treatment may be needed to prevent symptoms of depression from returning and to allow people to live more normal lives.

Depression Defined

Depression is a mood state that goes well beyond feeling sad or blue. It is a life-long mental illness that can affect the thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health of suffers. It is common for people to suffer from bouts of wellness followed by bouts of depression.

Depression Signs and Symptoms

While symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, following are some key signs and symptoms to be aware of:

  • Sleep issues: Some people may experience difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the entire night. Others may sleep excessively.
  • Appetite issues: Like sleep, some people may go from one extreme from another. For example, some people may lose their appetite and lose weight. Others may overeat, resulting in weight gain.
  • Concentration problems: During a severe depression, some people may not be able to concentrate on school work, job responsibilities, home responsibilities or even focus enough to read a newspaper article or watch a television show from start to finish.
  • Energy loss: For some people, there is a loss of normal energy to get things accomplished throughout the day. A person may feel too fatigued to go to work or school, or even accomplish every day chores.
  • Self-esteem loss: Many people loose confidence in themselves and the world around them during a depressive episode. They may dwell on mistakes they made in the past or loved ones lost.
  • Movement changes: People with depression may look like they have “slowed down,” or appear to be constantly agitated.

Source: National Alliance on Mental Illness

 
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