Symptoms of Depression
Depression is a mood disorder that affects the way you think and feel. It can make you feel disconnected, lose interest in the things you once enjoyed and impact your work and family life. Symptoms of depression are different for everyone, but there are some common symptoms that can help you identify whether someone may be suffering from this condition.
Depression can be caused by a variety of different factors, including genetics and environmental exposures. Brain chemicals are altered during depression, and communication between nerve cells is impaired. Those affected may also have changes in their hormone levels.
Personality can play a role in the development of depression, as well. For example, people who are more prone to anxiety and other emotional reactions to stress might be more likely to develop depression.
Symptoms vary widely from person to person, but some of the most common signs are feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in enjoyable activities. Others include irritability, restlessness or a decreased ability to experience pleasure (anhedonia).
Losses in Childhood and Adolescence
In some cases, depression may be triggered by major losses or disappointments in the early years of life. These can include the death of a loved one, divorce or financial trouble.
These traumatic events can leave lasting impacts on the lives of people who are depressed. The person may have difficulties sleeping or concentrating, become lethargic and have thoughts of suicide.
The person’s physical health can also be impacted by depression, as it can cause headaches, stomach upset or other aches and pains. They might also experience a weaker immune system.
It’s important to remember that depression is a serious illness, and the right treatment can help get a person back on track. Often, medications can be helpful in reducing the symptoms of depression and improving your quality of life.
Psychiatrists can prescribe antidepressants that are used to treat depression and other mental disorders. They can recommend medications based on the type of depression that you or a loved one is experiencing and your medical history.
In some cases, psychotherapy can be a useful tool in treating depression. Seeing a therapist can help you understand how the disorder is affecting your life and the ways you can work to overcome it. During therapy, your therapist can talk with you about the symptoms of your depression and other concerns that you have.
A therapist can also help you learn how to manage your depression better and prevent relapses. This can be done by implementing new coping strategies and by changing your habits.
Some of the most effective treatments for depression include medication, exercise and social interaction with supportive friends and family. These activities help to release serotonin and endorphins in the brain, which are essential for the health of the mind.
Taking action to get the help you need is important, but it can be hard to know where to start. You can take action by asking for help or talking to a friend or family member who has experienced depression.