People might often perceive and understand the state of being sad and being depressed to be the same. While everyone might feel sad from time to time for specific reasons, major depression is very different from the same. In the case of the latter one, you could experience loneliness and lose interest in your favorite activities. If you find these signs persisting for a long time, doctors might consider it a major depressive disorder. These are the symptoms that suggest you get specialist help.

Here in this article, we will discuss in detail what are the signs of clinical depression and the related factors.

What is Depression?

It is a mood disorder that invites a constant feeling of sadness, lack of interest in day-to-day activities. Also noted as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, it influences how the individuals would feel, think and behave and can invite many emotional and physical difficulties. They might get stuck and have difficulties while performing daily activities and sometimes could even get the feeling that life isn't worth living.

Major depressive disorder isn't just about a weakness, and one cannot simply "come out" of it. Depression might need long-term treatment, and most people get better after proper psychological treatment and medication or a mix of both. Let's take a look at the symptoms of depression.

Symptoms of Depression

Generally, depression is more likely to occur once in a lifetime, however, in a few cases, some people might get multiple episodes. During these phases depression symptoms occur most of the day, almost every day and night consist of:
•    A complete feeling of sadness, emptiness, tearfulness, and hopelessness
•    Random angry outbursts, irritability, and frustrations over little things.
•    Loss of interest in the activities that were enjoyed by the individual early and lacking interest in normal things like sex, hobbies and sports.
•    Sleep disturbances with insomnia or excessive sleeping with increased daytime napping.
•    Massive tiredness and zero energy, resulting in extra efforts in simple tasks.
•    Unwillingness to eat, reduced appetite followed by weight loss or enhanced food cravings and weight gain.
•   Anxiety issues, agitation, and constant restlessness
•    Slow thinking, sloth-like body movements
•    A constant feeling of worthlessness occupied by guilt, sticking to past mistakes or failures and self-blame
•    Difficulties focusing on something, making informed decisions, and problems with remembering things
•    Frequent or repetitive thoughts of death, getting suicidal thoughts, and attempting suicide
•    Indescribable physical problems like headaches or back pain.

For many people suffering from depression, the signs are generally moderate to severe and interfere in the regular activities of the individual, affecting their work, academics, or relationships. While others might feel a sense of misery without knowing the exact cause behind it.

Depression Symptoms in Adults and Older Adults

Depression is not a usual part of getting older, and its symptoms should never be looked upon lightly. Unforgettable, in most cases this illness goes undetected and untreated in older adults, and they might not feel it well to ask for help. Depression symptoms could be a bit different and less detectable in older adults, like:
•    Personality changes and difficulties with memory
•    Physical pain and aches
•    Excessive fatigue, decreased appetite, sleep disturbances, and lost interest in sex
•    Often desiring to be at home rather than going out and exploring new things
•    Random suicidal thoughts and feelings especially in older men

Depression Symptoms in Teens and Children

In general, depression symptoms in kids and teens are almost the same as that of adults, however, there can be few differences. Let's check them out below.
•    In younger kids, the depression symptoms might include loneliness, sadness, irritation, clinginess, worries, unexplained aches, and pains, reluctance to go to school, and being underweight.
•    In teens, the clinical depression symptoms might include a feeling of sadness, irritability, having a sense of worthlessness, being negative, poor school attendance, feeling misunderstood and massively sensitive, taking recreational drugs or getting attracted to alcohol, excessive sleeping or eating, avoiding social interactions, loss of interest in usual activities and self-harm.

When should you consider seeing a Doctor?

If you find yourself getting the feeling of loneliness over and over again, without having any particular cause behind it, it could be the time to see a doctor. If you are unwilling to seek treatment, you might consider reaching out to a loved one whom you trust or any faith leader. With timely diagnosis and proper treatment, it's possible for the individual to feel better with time and achieve a healthier mental state.

How to Get Emergency Help?

If you feel you could hurt yourself or get a feeling of a suicidal attempt, dial 911 or your local emergency number without a moment of delay. You should check out the following factors in case you are having a suicidal thought:
•    Ring up your doctor.
•    Call a suicide hotline number. In US, the same is 1-800-273-8255. Using the same number press 1, to access the Veterans Crisis Line.
•    Approach a close or loved one.
•    Consider reaching out to a spiritual leader in your faith community.

Wrapping Up

Nowadays, some people have the common perception that sadness and depression are synonymous. While there could be some exact reasons for our day-to-day sadness, major depressive disorder is something different. It requires treatment and guidance so that the person could smoothly heal from the situation over time and lead a better life. The common depression symptoms include sadness, loneliness, questioning of self-worth, lack of interest in usual tasks, unlimited food cravings or decreased appetite, fatigue, and unexplained physical pain. In case you find any of the symptoms persisting over a longer span, it's important to consult a doctor.

Note: The article is meant for general awareness of the readers. The information can't be used as a substitute to a mental health professional's consultation, diagnosis or treatment. In case one gets a suicidal thought or has a feeling of self-harm, you should seek help by dialing the emergency number of the area.  

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What are the Symptoms of Depression?