Depression

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease your ability to function at work and at home. 

Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include: 

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood 
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed 
  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting 
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much 
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue 
  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable by others) 
  • Feeling worthless or guilty 
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions 
  • Thoughts of death or suicide 

Symptoms must last at least two weeks and must represent a change in your previous level of functioning for a diagnosis of depression. 

Also, medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression so it is important to rule out general medical causes. 

 

 


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Brain Health USA Center treats adults and children with depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, autism, down syndrome, drug abuse, and PTSD.

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