Symptoms of Depression
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The Symptoms of Depression

Almost everyone experiences depression at some time in his or her life. Depression is more than just a debilitating feeling - it is a profound psychological and physical experience, which affects the body's whole physiology.

Depression can be actually painful and it is dangerous. If you are seriously considering suicide as a solution to your depression, please get help NOW. Call your doctor at once for immediate clinical help, or telephone one of the crisis lines provided by Samaritans, SANE, or Depression Alliance .

Depression is often defined as a condition in which a number of specific symptoms persist for at least one month. If you have four of the following symptoms you are probably depressed. If you have five or more you are definitely depressed.

1. Feelings of worthlessness, self reproach.

2. Inappropriate guilt.

3. Recurrent thoughts of suicide.

4. Weariness and loss of energy and feelings.

5. Diminished ability to think and concentrate.

6. Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities.

7. Decrease in sexual drive.

8. Continuing state of worry and apprehension.

9. Insomnia or hypersomnia.

10. Poor appetite with weight loss or increased appetite with weight gain.

11. Physical inactivity or hyper-activity.

Along with these symptoms, the body's physical functions can become unbalanced as well. Constipation and changes in the menstrual cycle are common and you may feel cold, weak and sluggish.

Depression may occur as a brief, transient event or it may be a lifelong struggle.

When depression results from the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship or the loss of a job, the feelings may be appropriate and normal. Indeed a period of grief and sadness is essential. Treatment is generally not needed unless the depression is severe enough to make someone non-functional and entertain suicidal thoughts.

However, the general rule is that people with depression should seek a medical evaluation. Symptoms that look like depression might be caused instead by a specific medical condition, such as a thyroid complaint, hormonal imbalances or a side effect of medication. The involvement of a medical practitioner is not just sensible; it is very reassuring and will help to reduce the level of anxiety in both the sufferer and their loved ones.

The prime rule is to consult your doctor, particularly if you think that you might be suffering from manic depression. Your doctor will be able to advise you on the professional help that is available to you.

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