What is depression? Signs & symptoms of depression

Definition of depression

What is depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a person to constantly feel sad and lose interest.

This condition is more than just the feeling of sadness that is normal for people who are mentally healthy. This is because feelings of sadness are very difficult to get rid of so that they continue to haunt.

Another name for this mental illness is major depression or clinical depression, which affects feelings, thoughts, and behaviors that can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.

Sufferers can have difficulty carrying out normal daily activities, because they feel life is not worth living.

How common is this condition?

Depression is a common condition in society. According to research, this condition occurs in 80% of people at some time in their lives and can occur at any age. Usually, depression is more common in women than men.

Types of depression

You can experience this mood disorder in different forms. Quoted from the Mayo Clinic and the National Institute of Mental Health, here are the types of depression in a more specific form:

  • Anxiety disorders, which are unusual nervousness or worry about possible events.
  • Mixed form of depression, namely simultaneous depression and mania, which includes increased self-esteem, too much talking, and increased energy.
  • Melancholic form, which is a severe mood disorder with a lack of interest in pleasant things. In addition, you also experience a bad mood in the morning, big changes in appetite, to feelings of guilt.
  • The atypical form is when you can feel happy in response to pleasant things, but only temporarily.
  • Depression is a form of psychosis disorder, which is a condition accompanied by delusions or hallucinations, which may involve negative thoughts about oneself.
  • Catatonia, which is depression that includes motor activity involving aimless involuntary movements.
  • Peripartum onset, namely depression that occurs during pregnancy or depression after childbirth.
  • Seasonal patterns, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), are mood disorders that are influenced by seasonal changes and reduced sun exposure.
  • Bipolar disorder, which is a liver disorder that causes a person to experience episodes of mania, depression, and hypomania.
  • Persistent depressive disorder or dysthymia, which is a depressed mood that lasts for 2 years.

Several other mental illnesses have symptoms of depression, such as cyclothymic disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Signs & symptoms of depression

Although this mental illness can only occur once in a lifetime, sufferers usually have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms of depression appear most of the day, most days and may include:

  • Feeling sad, crying, empty or hopeless.
  • Easily irritated, frustrated, or irritable, even over small things.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies, or sports.
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much.
  • Fatigue and lack of energy, so small tasks require extra effort.
  • Decreased appetite and weight loss or increased desire to eat and weight gain.
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness.
  • Slowed thinking, or speaking or body movements.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself.
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things.
  • Frequent or recurring thoughts about death and thoughts of suicide.
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches.

For people with severe mood disorders, daily activities, such as work, school, social activities, or relationships with other people become worse.

Symptoms of depression in children and adolescents

Signs and symptoms of depression in children and adolescents are similar to those of adults, but there are some differences, including:

  • In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess or separation, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.
  • Depression in adolescents, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor grades or frequent absences from school. In addition, depression in adolescents can also be characterized by feelings of being misunderstood and very sensitive, using drugs or alcohol, overeating or sleeping, self-harm, loss of interest. in normal activities, and avoid social interactions.

Symptoms of depression in the elderly

Depression is not a normal part of getting older, and should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, these mood disorders often go undiagnosed and untreated in older adults, and they may feel reluctant to seek help.

Symptoms of depression may be different or less pronounced in older adults, such as:

  • Memory difficulties or personality changes.
  • Physical aches or pains.
  • Fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems or loss of interest in sex that are not due to a medical condition or medication.
  • Often wants to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or do new things.
  • Suicidal thoughts or feelings, especially in older men.

When should you see a doctor?

If you experience any of the signs above, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can. If you are reluctant to go to therapy, talk to your friend or partner, health care provider, religious leader, or someone else you can trust.

There is no need to be ashamed to ask for help from a doctor or other party. The earlier you go to the doctor, the better.

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