Signs, symptoms, and treatments for the Depression mental health disorder explained

What is Depression?

Around 15.7 million adults in the Unites States have periods of major depression in their lifetime according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Depression can make you feel discouraged, hopeless, sad, unmotivated, or disinterested in life. These feelings are normal, and people often feel some form of these symptoms at any time in their life. When these feelings last for more than two weeks, and when they interfere with your daily life, it’s possible you may want to seek treatment.

Major depression is a treatable condition that affects how you think, feel, behave, and function. There are three main types of depressive disorders: major depression, persistent depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder. Symptoms of depression can include:

  • Sad or flat mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or guilt
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Change in appetite
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Irritability
  • Physical symptoms like headaches, digestive issues, and pain

Major depression involves at least five of these symptoms for at least a two week period. This will interfere will work, school, eating, and sleeping.

Persistent depressive disorder is a form of depression that usually continues for at least two years, Although it is less severe than major depression, it involves the same symptoms. It can look like stress, irritability, or the inability to enjoy most activities.

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood that cycles for high or mild highs, to low lows. During the manic episode, you might experience excessive happiness or energy, less of a need for sleep, increased talking, racing thoughts, increased energy, and more. During the depressive phase, you will experience the same symptoms as someone who suffers from major depression. Mood swings for manic to depressive are most often gradual, but can occur abruptly.

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