Most of us feel sad, lonely, or depressed at times. It’s a normal reaction to loss, life’s struggles, or injured self-esteem. Bereavement, mourning, catastrophe, economic recession, financial misfortune and other devastating illnesses ultimately result in sadness. But when these feelings become overwhelming, cause physical symptoms, and last for long periods of time, they can keep you from leading a normal, active life. Leading to a clinical depression
Clinical depression is the more-severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder. It isn’t the same as depression caused by a loss, such as the death of a loved one, or a medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder.
A constant sense of hopelessness and despair is a sign you may have major depression, also known as clinical depression.
With major depression, it may be difficult to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy friends and activities. Some people have clinical depression only once in their life, while others have it several times in a lifetime.
Major depression can sometimes occur from one generation to the next in families, but often it may affect people with no family history of the illness.
Recognizing the symptoms is key. Unfortunately, about half the people who have depression never get it diagnosed or treated.
While only qualified medical doctors or clinical health providers can diagnose depression, there are certain warning signs that can help you identify whether you or someone you care about is suffering from depression.
A person with a depressive mood, may report feeling “sad” or “empty” or may cry frequently. Having low mood is one of the two core symptoms which is used to diagnose depression.
Decreased Interest or Pleasure
The second core symptom of depression is decreased interest or pleasure in things that were once enjoyed. A person exhibiting this symptom will show markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all daily activities.
Significant Weight Change
Significant changes in weight (a gain or loss of 5% or more in a month) while not attempting to gain or lose weight, may be indicative of depression. In children, this may also present as a failure to make expected weight gains.
Sleep disturbances including difficulty in falling asleep, feeling sleepy despite full night’s rest or daytime sleepiness can indicate depression.
Psychomotor Agitation or Retardation
Depression can be the cause of agitation, restlessness or lethargy that affects a person’s daily routine, behaviour or appearance. These symptoms can be evident in body movements, speech and reaction time. Some describe the diminished ability to think, concentrate or make decisions as “brain fog”.
Deep fatigue or a loss of energy is a symptom of depression, that can cause patients to struggle to function as they previously did. This can manifest itself as feeling sleepy or having difficulty in concentration, as well as a lowered threshold for physical exertion.