Depression is a common mental disorder that affects millions of people but can be treated. The treatment varies depending on each patient’s needs, but this cannot be done if the depression goes undiagnosed. The symptoms and types of depression can vary from one person to another, and can be serious.
It is estimated that there are 121 million people in the world who are currently suffering from some type of depression, and 36 percent of them are Americans. However, 80 percent of depressed people are not being treated. If you (or someone you know) is experiencing symptoms of a major depression disorder such as those listed below, it is best to seek professional help from a physician. Recognizing depression and getting help is the first step to feeling better.
Top 9 Symptoms of Depression You Should Look Out For
- Uncontrollable emotions. Those with major depression can suffer feelings of unhappiness, emptiness, or great sadness one moment, and then become angry, irritable, and frustrated at the next, usually over small matters. Depression can cause mood swings, but should not be confused with bipolar disorder.
- Changes in appetite. Appetite and weight changes fluctuate differently for people with major depression. Some people have a reduced appetite resulting in weight loss, while others have increased cravings for food resulting in weight gain.
- Agitation and anxiety. Depression disorder can be seen in people who worry excessively, cannot sit still, pace continuously, and display anxiety such as hand-wringing.
- Feelings of guilt, helplessness, or low self-worth. Depressed people have a tendency to blame themselves for past failures and even for things that are not their responsibility.
- Trouble focusing. Depression can make decision making difficult. Thinking, concentrating, and even remembering things also becomes more challenging.
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia. People with depression disorder may sleep too much, have trouble going back to sleep once awakened, or may not be able to sleep at all.
- Lack of energy and extreme fatigue. Some people experience having little or no energy to even do small tasks, and feel like they are always tired. This can also show in slowed body movements, thinking, or speaking.
- Loss of interest in activities. In conjunction with the overwhelming feeling of lethargy, those with depression disorder can also lose interest in the things they used to enjoy, such as sports, hobbies, and other activities. A decreased sex drive can also be another symptom.
- Suicidal thoughts, and attempts to take one’s own life. This is the most serious symptom and can often results in death. These feelings and uncontrollable emotions often lead people to end their own lives, thinking that it would be a permanent solution to their problems.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 34,000 people commit suicide in the U.S. each year, and 90 percent of those have a psychiatric disorder that could have been diagnosed and treated. Depression gets worse if left untreated, so don't be afraid to ask for help.
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