Depression affects nearly 1:6 people at some point in their lives. It is more than feeling sad or depressed, which is a normal reaction to loss or life’s struggles. When symptoms of depression become more intense and begin to affect daily functioning, it could be a sign of something more severe, such as a depressive disorder. This mood disorder is characterized by intense levels of sadness including feeling helpless, and worthlessness and may last for weeks, keeping a person from living life fully.

What are the symptoms of depression?

For someone to be diagnosed with a depressive disorder, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. Individuals who are suffering from a depressive disorder may have trouble daily functioning and life activities. Experiencing the following symptoms most every day for two weeks may be signs of a depressive disorder. (Mental Health America)

  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as sex, hobbies or sports
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

People who are depressed may not experience every symptom, some may have all or many, others may only suffer from a few. As we mentioned, individuals must experience persistent symptoms for two weeks to be diagnosed with a depressive disorder. Severity and frequency of symptoms depends on the individual and if they also have a dual diagnosis.

What are some of the common questions surrounding depression?

There are some common questions surrounding depression, let’s take a look at those.

As a depression treatment center, Lifeskills South Florida understands that you have questions and we can help customize a treatment program to meet your needs. We can help you get your life back on track.