Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Qualified Clinical Supervisor. She received her PhD in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Florida in 2002. In addition to being a practicing clinician, she has provided training to counselors, social workers, nurses and case managers internationally since 2006 through AllCEUs.com
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What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
Depression is a mental health disorder that affects people of all ages. It’s a common condition that can cause many problems in your life, such as irritability, sleeping too much or too little, difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, feeling worthless and guilty, thoughts of suicide, and weight gain or loss.
Depression can be a serious problem that needs treatment. It may not go away on its own and can lead to severe problems at home, work, or school. It can also increase your risk of suicidal thoughts and actions, so getting help as soon as possible is important.
Symptoms of depression
There are many different symptoms of depression, and they all vary from person to person. Some of these include:
Depressed mood (feelings of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness) almost all the time, for most days. You don’t have much energy or interest in most activities, despite trying to do them. You think about death and suicide more than usual.
You sleep too much or too little, despite trying to get enough sleep. You have trouble concentrating, thinking clearly or making decisions.
Your appetite changes and you have less energy than normal. You have a lot of pain or tenderness in your joints, back, stomach or muscles.
It’s not easy to tell when you’re feeling depressed, but it can feel like a big change in your life. The most common signs are:
If you have these symptoms for 2 weeks or longer, you should talk to your doctor. They will be able to evaluate your situation and prescribe treatment or refer you to a mental health professional.
The symptoms of depression can be hard to notice, so it’s important that you ask for help if you’re worried about it. There’s no shame in asking for help, and there are many people who struggle with the same symptoms as you do.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to treating depression, so you and your doctor will need to find a treatment that works for you. Your doctor will take into account your medical history and any other symptoms you’re having.
Treating depression involves a variety of methods, including:
Antidepressants are the most common way to treat depression. They can be taken as pills or in combination with other medicines. They can help you to feel better in a few weeks.
They can be combined with psychotherapy, which helps you to talk through your feelings and learn new ways of coping. These therapies often involve the whole family or partner, as well as friends and other people who live with you.
Your doctor will also check for any other conditions that could be causing your symptoms. They might want to test your blood or urine for certain hormones, or they may need a CT scan of your brain to look for certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine.
Other treatments can include medication, dietary changes or self-help strategies, such as exercise, socializing, and taking St. John’s wort, which can help to reduce anxiety and stress.