A common and serious medical illness that affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It is more than just being down or feeling sad as a result of something happening in your life.
You must have several of the following symptoms to be diagnosed with depression including a deep feeling of overwhelming sadness or a marked loss of interest or pleasure in activities that lasts at least 2 weeks.. Other symptoms include:
- Changes in appetite that result in weight losses or gains unrelated to dieting;
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue;
- Restlessness or irritability;
- Insomnia or oversleeping;
- Inability to do things around the house or at work;
- Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt;
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions;
- Thoughts of death or suicide or attempts at suicide.
Depression can be effectively treated by a trained Psychiatrist. Certain medications, and some medical conditions such as viruses, vitamin deficiencies or a thyroid disorder, can cause the same symptoms as depression. A Psychiatrist can rule out these possibilities by doing a physical exam, interview, and lab tests.
Some people suffering from depression seek out drugs and alcohol as a solution, but only get temporary relief. Substances do not cure problems, they create them. Once diagnosed, a person with depression can be treated in several ways.