What Is Depression?Depression is a mental illness that ranks among the most common in the United States. This condition seriously affects your mood, how you think and feel physically. While there are many types of depression, all share the same symptoms. To receive a diagnosis, you must suffer from those symptoms for at least two weeks. Forms of depression include:
- Persistent depressive disorder (PDD): People with this condition have chronic depression that lasts for two years or more. They may not know what not feeling depressed is like because the depression is their normal state.
- Postpartum depression: After giving birth, women may experience depression that makes caring for themselves and their new baby difficult.
- Psychotic depression: When false beliefs, called delusions, or hallucinating accompany depression, the person has a psychotic form of the condition.
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): Changes in light levels during the fall and winter can cause depression symptoms that ease in the spring.
What Are Common Signs of Depression?Signs of depression accompany all forms of the condition during depressive episodes. If you identify with any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, contact your doctor or a recovery center to find out more about treatment. Symptoms may include any of the following:
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Change in appetite
- Chronic physical problems with no other causes (stomach upset or aches and pains)
- Feeling empty or sad
- Loss of motivation
- Restlessness or reduced energy
- Thoughts of worthlessness or hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
- Problems with concentration