Best Way to Recognize Depression

Depression is a medical condition that is both physical and psychological. The primary symptoms are feelings of sorrow, dejection, despair, or irritability. Most people feel sad or blue occasionally, but when these feelings persist or worsen and begin to interfere with work or personal rela­tionships, depression is suspected.

Learning how to identify depression in its early stages is important. Many people, even those who have been treated for depression in the past, don’t realize that they are depressed (or that they’re slipping back into a depres­sion) until their depression is severe. If you can recognize depression when it first begins to come on, it is often much easier to manage.

Recognize Depression Best Way to Recognize Depression

Many of the symptoms of depression, such as headache, backache, or stomach trouble, are physical and may come on gradually, so it’s often hard to recognize that depression is developing. A good way to find out is to review the Symptom Checklist for Recognizing Depression below. If you have been experiencing five or more of the symptoms on this list most of the time for at least 2 weeks, then depression is a likely explanation.

You probably know people who have been depressed in the past or several who are struggling with depression right now. Even highly accomplished and famous people experi­ence depression from time to time. Television journalist Mike Wallace, President Abraham Lincoln, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and award-winning author William Styron are just a few of the well-known people who have battled depression.

Even so, when you’re the one who’s depressed, you often feel isolated. You may hesitate to tell others about your depression. Or, feeling that you should be able to overcome this illness on your own, you may wait to seek help until your depression becomes severe. Remember that depression is very common. One out of every four women and nearly one in seven men will suffer from at least one depressive episode sometime during their life.

Symptoms checklist for recognizing depression

  •    Feeling sad, blue, irritable, or tearful
  •    Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  •    Fatigue or loss of energy
Recognize Depression 1 Best Way to Recognize Depression
  •    Feeling slowed down or restless and unable to sit still
  •    Changes in appetite or weight loss or gain
  •    Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy, such as sex
  •    Feeling worthless or guilty
  •    Feeling pessimistic or hopeless
  •    Problems concentrating or thinking
  •    Thoughts of death or suicide
  •    Aches and pains such as headache, stomachache, back pain
  •    Increased anxiety and tension or anxiety attacks

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