Friday, March 6, 2009

Depression: What are the Symptoms and Types?

We all feel sad at times. It goes with being human. But feeling depressed for an extended period is not normal and is often due to a mood disorder. There are many symptoms of depression, although not everyone with depression has all of them.
Sometimes it is very obvious when people are depressed. They may appear sad, not do the things they usually enjoy, and describe themselves as feeling low and worthless. With other people, depression may be less apparent. Some depressed people never admit to feeling sad or having a low mood, but they usually seem different to people close to them.
Here are the key symptoms of depression:
1.persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
2.feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
3.feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
4.loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities once enjoyable
5.decreased energy; fatigue; feeling "slowed down"
6.difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering
7.trouble sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
8.changes in appetite or weight or both
9.thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
10.restlessness or irritability
11.persistent physical symptoms, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain that do not respond to routine treatments
There are several different forms of depression. Here are the most common types:
1.major depression – a combination of disabling symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Major depression prevents a person from functioning normally.
2.dysthymic disorder – long-term (2 years or longer) but less severe symptoms that may not disable a person but can prevent him or her from functioning normally or feeling good.
3.psychotic depression – when a severe depressive illness is accompanied by some form of psychosis, such as a break with reality, hallucinations, and delusions
4.postpartum depression – diagnosed if a new mother develops a major depressive episode within one month after delivery
seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – characterized by the onset of a depressive illness during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. The depression generally lifts during spring and summer.
People suffering with depression commonly have other mental health and physical conditions, such as anxiety disorders, alcohol and other substance-abuse disorders, and serious medical illnesses.

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