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NCHPAD - Building Healthy Inclusive Communities

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Symptoms of Depression


Depression is a mental illness that is often difficult to talk about.  On top of that, talking about the experiences that lead to depression can be even more difficult, and depression is no small problem either.  According to Health Line, 16 million US adults have had at least one major depression episode since 2012.

What most may not realize is that there are several different factors that contribute to a person being depressed including genetics, the biology and chemistry of the person’s brain, and various life experiences that are particularly traumatic (loss of a loved one, bad relationships, abuse, acts of violence, and even war).

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

When we think about depression, some might envision a gloomy person with that proverbial rain cloud following them everywhere they go; however, that sadness and gloom are not the only symptoms.  In fact, some people do not even feel the sadness.
 
The National Institute of Mental Health lists the signs and symptoms of depress as:

•    Constant feeling of sadness, anxiousness, or an “emptiness”
•    Feelings of pessimism and/or hopelessness
•    Feelings of guilt, helplessness, and/or worthlessness
•    Losing interest in hobbies and activities one once enjoyed
•    Lowering of energy levels causing one to feel fatigued or “slowed down”
•    Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and/or remembering things
•    Poor sleep patterns – waking up very early or oversleeping
•    Changes to appetite and/or weight
•    Frequent thoughts of death, suicide or even attempting suicide
•    Restlessness and frequent bouts of irritability
 
Although anyone can experience these symptoms and not be depressed, if a person experiences one or a combination of these symptoms for more than two weeks at a time, then they may have depression and should seek treatment with a family doctor or even a Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

People suffering from depression may not seek help because of the stigma of depression.  If you know someone suffering, be sure to support them as much as possible or offer to go to the doctor with them.  Psychiatric-Mental Health Practitioners are specially trained to help with the mental health needs of their patients.  If you find that your family doctor or practitioner is not listening to you or you feel uncomfortable, then consider changing doctors to find a professional who will best benefit you.


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