There are many signs of depression, ranging from the obvious forms of “feeling down” to other less obvious symptoms.
Everyone has normal ups and downs, but what differentiates clinical depression is the duration and severity of the symptoms, which can last for months and years.
Common symptoms of depression include prolonged feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, guilt, pessimism about the future, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, fatigue, and sleep disturbances (sleeping too much or too little).
Other common symptoms may include overeating, loss of appetite, irritability, restlessness, losing interest in activities that were once pleasurable, loss of interest in family and friends, persistent sad or empty feelings, suicidal thoughts or behaviors, physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, or other complaints.
If you or someone you know is exhibiting any of these symptoms of depression, seek mental health treatment.
If your or someone you know is actively suicidal, are threatening to hurt themselves or others, please dial 911 and have them assessed at the nearest hospital emergency room or psychiatric emergency screening center.
If they do not go willingly, contact 911, call an ambulance, or contact your state's mental health hotline. One of the worst things you can do is ignore the warnings by mistakenly thinking that your loved one will not carry out their threats.
Is that a risk you are willing to take?
Such assessments are typically mandated under most state guidelines and laws. If you are a parent who is responsible for a child and you do not secure your child needed healthcare assistance, you can be investigated for neglecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of a child. The law views physical health and mental/emotional health in a similar light.
Depression is diagnosed by a mental health professional via the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders (DSM).
To make an accurate diagnosis, your provider will need to know when your symptoms started, the severity, and duration. This takes place during an initial clinical interview in which your mental health care professional asks you questions.
During your assessment, please be honest with your doctor or therapist to ensure you receive proper treatment.
They will likely inquire about both your individual history and your family history of many factors such as depression, substance abuse, sexual or other past abuse, trauma, and more.
Treatment for depression typically consists of psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. Research shows that psychotherapy and medications combined are more effective than either individually.