10 common symptoms of depression

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Each year, approximately 9.5 percent of the American population suffers from depression. Depression is a serious illness that affects everyday life and destroys families. It is a disorder that controls the mind and its functions causing loss of appetite, insomnia, mood swings and a deep sense of despair.

The symptoms of depression are varied and the severity changes over time. And, according to experts, depression can be an inherited disorder or caused by life-threatening diseases or stress. Other causes are certain diseases, medications, drugs, alcohol or mental illness. It is observed that women experience depression more than men and this is attributed to hormonal changes, changes in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, premenopause and postmenopause.

Common symptoms are:

1. An unwavering sadness, anxiety or emptiness.

2. Overwhelming hopelessness accompanied by pessimistic feelings.

3. Extreme guilt, feelings of helplessness and lack of self-esteem.

4. Energy loss, metabolism slowdown and activity levels. Being plagued by constant fatigue.

5. A feeling of helplessness along with an increasing inability to concentrate and indecision.

6. Loss of deep sleep and development of extreme insomnia.

7. Unexplained weight loss or gain. Activated by loss of appetite or binge eating.

8. Tilt and suicidal tendencies.

9. Irritability, bad temper, as well as restlessness.

10. Physical afflictions such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain for no particular reason.

If you experience any of the above along with a marked change in behavior, consult your doctor. You will have a thorough exam to rule out the physical causes of depression, as well as any underlying medical problems. Then, if necessary, he will recommend that you consult a psychiatrist or psychologist.

Take things in your hands and try to erase the negativity of your mind. Cut off life terms like exhaustion, worthlessness and hopelessness. Change your life by setting yourself some goals. Try to relax, meditate and enjoy the music. Start new activities that absorb both your time and your interests. Go out and meet people and participate in group activities. Avoid the company of negative people. Decide to enjoy a movie, a ball game, a family outing, a picnic or a walk. Be positive, sure of yourself and have faith in yourself. Faith is itself a great healer. Decide to change your world for the better. However, follow the doctor's advice. Treatment may include: antidepressant medications, psychotherapy, as well as lifestyle changes. In extreme cases, electroconvulsive therapy or light therapy is prescribed.

If your depression increases or is suicidal, seek help from your family doctor or health care provider. Call a local health department, a community mental health center, a hospital or clinic. Someone will extend a helping hand and guide you through the crisis.

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10 common symptoms of depression

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