Yet, data from the American Public Health Association shows that up to 70% of people worldwide don't seek help for mental health conditions due to stigma, lack of information, and lack of access to treatment.
If you or someone you know may have depression, you can get help from this article. This article discusses the signs, symptoms, and treatment options for depression, along with a science-backed quiz. Help you better understand depression.
What is depression?
Depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD) or clinical depression, is a medical condition that's different from feelings of sadness.
If you're sad, there is usually a cause, such as grief or a bad day at work. These feelings are mainly related to the specific situation that caused them, and should be resolved in time. You'll often be able to make yourself feel better — perhaps by talking about your feelings with a friend or blowing off steam through an activity you enjoy.
But if you're depressed, you'll likely experience a gradual onset of symptoms, such as a lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, changes in sleep and appetite, and difficulty thinking and concentrating.
These symptoms will generally have a significant negative impact on daily life for at least two weeks.
Signs of depression
Typically, the major symptoms of depression are:
- A constantly low mood
- Loss of enjoyment or interest in activities
- Change in appetite
- Insomnia, restless sleeping, or oversleeping
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Difficulty in concentrating, making decisions, or memory
- Thoughts of suicide
Depression can have physical symptoms, too, such as fatigue or unexplained body aches and pains. This can often imitate other illnesses, like thyroid conditions or a Vitamin D deficiency.
Depression is a mood disorder where you'll likely experience a lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed, changes in sleep or appetite, and difficulty thinking or concentrating.
This article was medically reviewed by Alex Dimitriu, MD,
psychiatrist and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine.
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