Depression is a mood disorder that causes an unending feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is also known as Major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects your thinking, feelings, behavior and can lead to many emotional and physical problems. You might even have troubles going about your usual day-day activities, sometimes you might even feel life is not worth living.
Though depression is not something you can just snap out of, it is not a weakness either. More often than not long-term treatments are needed to rid a person of depression.
Although depression may occur only once in a lifetime, it is often characterized by multiple episodes. During these episodes, you might be able to identify major pointers that infer that the person is depressed. These pointers include
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness
- Anger outbursts, even over small matters.
- Loss of interest or pleasures in most or all normal activities including sex, sports or hobbies.
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Lack of energy
- Reduced appetite, weight loss or increased cravings for food, weigh gain
- Slowed thinking, body movements or speaking
- Self-blame, feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts
- Unexplained physical problems such as back pain or headache.
- Trouble making decisions and thinking
In some people the symptoms are very obvious it causes problems in their work or school, daily and social activities and relationships with other people. Some people might just feel down and unhappy without knowing why.
Note anybody can be depressed at any age. Depression symptoms might differ a bit in children, teens and older adults.
In children depression symptoms usually include sadness, clinginess, irritability, worry, aches and pain, not wanting to go to school or being underweight.
In teenagers symptoms include feeling worthless or negative, poor performance and attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, avoidance of social interactions, self-harm, eating or sleeping too much and taking recreational drugs or alcohol.
In older adults symptoms of depression are often seen as part of growing old and often go untreated and undiagnosed. Depression should go never be taken lightly. Some symptoms of depression in older adults include
- Physical aches and pain
- Fatigue, sleep problems, loss of appetite or loss of interest in sex (not caused by a medical issue)
- Personality changes and memory difficulties
- Suicidal thinking and feelings, especially in older men.
- Often wanting to be indoors and alone.
Depression has no particular preventive measure because it does not have a definite cause but once you have experienced a depressive episode, you might be able to prevent future episodes by learning what lifestyle changes and treatment are helpful.
Here’s a few of what might help:
- Exercising regularly
- Adequate sleep
- Maintaining treatments
- Reducing stress
- Building strong relationships with others
You might also find other things helpful.