Depression Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

With growing age, you experience a series of happenings, incidents, and life events like the death of loved ones, financial or medical problems, and retirement. Some make you happy, some leave you feeling stressed. It is natural to have all sorts of feelings – uneasy, sad, lonely, or stressed. We never have a smooth life, with ups in life – we feel happy and during downs, we feel stressed.

But if the feeling of sadness and loneliness stays for a little longer and starts affecting your daily functioning, you should act. Any radical changes in the way you feel, think or handle daily activities such as eating, sleeping, or working must be observed closely.

Depression has several symptoms, ranging from low intensity to high, both physically and mentally. If you or someone close to you is experiencing the same for at least two weeks now, you must check with your doctor once.

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or unintended weight changes
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment.

Differentiating between usual sadness & depression

We all have good days and bad days. Everyone feels sad or blue at times. That’s normal.

Depression is different. If the feelings stay for more than two weeks and nothing makes you feel better, you begin to notice a change in mood, behavior, sleep, and appetite, you should seek help.

Depression can vary from mild to severe. Major depression has severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to eat, sleep, work, and study. A persistent depressive disorder is a depressed mood that lasts for at least 2 years.

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