Health Disease What is Depression?

What is Depression?


Depression Symptoms | Depression Causes | Depression TestDepression is classified as a mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss, or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities.

It’s also fairly common. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 8.1 % of American adults ages 20 & over had depression in any given two-week period from 2013 to 2016. People experience depression in different ways. It may interfere with your daily work, resulting in lost time & lower productivity. It also can influence relationships & some chronic health conditions.

Conditions which that can get worse due to depression include:

  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • obesity

It’s much important to realize that feeling down at times is a normal part of life. Sad & upsetting events happen to everyone. But, if you are feeling miserable or hopeless on a regular basis, you could be dealing with depression. Depression is considered a serious medical condition, & it can get worse without proper treatment. Yet, those who seek treatment often see improvements in symptoms in just a several weeks.

Depression Symptoms

Depression can be more than the constant state of the sadness or feeling “blue.”

Major depression can cause a variety of symptoms. Some affect your mood, & others affect your body. Symptoms may also be ongoing or come & go. Depression can affect men, women, & children differently.

Symptoms of depression in men may include:

  • Mood: anger, aggressiveness, irritability, anxiousness, restlessness
  • Emotional: feeling empty, sad, hopeless
  • Behavioral: loss of interest, no longer finding pleasure in favorite activities, feeling tired easily, drinking excessively, using drugs, thoughts of suicide, engaging in high-risk activities
  • Sexual: reduced sexual desire, lack of your sexual performance
  • Cognitive: inability to concentrate, delayed responses, difficulty completing tasks, during conversations
  • Sleep: insomnia, excessive sleepiness, restless sleep, not sleeping through the night
  • Physical: fatigue, headache, pains, digestive problems

Symptoms of depression in women may include:

  • Mood: irritability
  • Emotional: feeling sad or empty, helpless or anxious
  • Behavioral: withdrawing from social engagements, loss of interest in activities, thoughts of suicide
  • Cognitive: thinking or talking more slowly
  • Sleep: difficulty sleeping through over-night, waking early, sleeping too much
  • Physical: greater fatigue, decreased energy, changes in appetite, weight changes, aches, pain, headaches, increased cramps

Symptoms of depression in children may include:

  • Mood: irritability, anger, mood swings, crying
  • Behavioral: getting into trouble at school & refusing to go to school, avoiding siblings or friends, thoughts of death or suicide
  • Cognitive: difficulty concentrating, decline your performance in school, changes in grades
  • Sleep: sleeping too much or difficulty sleeping
  • Physical:  digestive problems, changes in appetite, loss of energy, weight loss or gain

The symptoms can extend beyond your mind completely. These 8 physical symptoms of depression prove that depression is not just all in your head.

Depression Causes

There are many possible causes of depression. They can range to circumstantial from biological.

Common causes may include:

  • Family history. You are at a higher risk for developing depression if you have a family history of depression or another mood disorder.
  • Early childhood trauma. Some events impact the way that body reacts to fear & stressful situations.
  • Brain structure. There is a greater risk for depression if the frontal lobe of your brain is less active. However, scientists don’t know if this happens after or before the onset of depressive symptoms.
  • Medical conditions. You may put you at higher risk by Certain conditions, such as chronic illness, chronic pain, insomnia, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

All other people may never learn the cause of their depression.

About 30 % of people who have a substance use problem also experience depression. In addition to these all causes, other risk factors for depression include:

  • low self-esteem or being self-critical
  • personal history of mental illness
  • certain medications
  • stressful events, such as loss of your loved 1, economic problems, or a divorce

Many factors can influence feelings of depression, as well as who develops it & who doesn’t. 

Depression Test

There is not a single test to diagnose depression. But your doctor can make a diagnosis based on your symptoms & a psychological evaluation.

In most cases, your doctor will ask a series of questions about your moods, appetite, sleep pattern, activity level, & thoughts.

Just Because depression can be linked to other health problems, your doctor may also conduct a physical examination & order blood work. Many times, thyroid problems or a vitamin D deficiency can trigger the symptoms of depression.

Don’t ignore symptoms of depression. If your mood doesn’t get worse or improve, seek medical help. Depression is the serious mental illness with risks of complications.

If left untreated, complications include:

  • weight gain or loss
  • physical pain
  • substance use problems
  • panic attacks
  • relationship problems
  • social isolation
  • suicidal thoughts
  • self-mutilation


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