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Identifying Depression

Identifying depressionPeople often say "I'm depressed" when what they are really experiencing is sadness. Clinical depression is more than just feeling blue or down after a bad day at work or during a difficult period of life.

People who are clinically depressed feel down, sad or hopeless all the time, for weeks on end, and can experience the following symptoms:

  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
  • Persistent feelings of sadness, worthlessness, guilt
  • Appetite loss or overeating
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Difficulty thinking clearly, remembering or concentrating well enough to read or watch television

These symptoms can be similar to the experiences associated with grieving the death of a loved one. However, in depression, these feelings arise without such a loss, or they last much longer than the usual cycle of grief.

Depression may occur along with related conditions, such as substance abuse, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or any number of other physical and mental health disorders.