It is perfectly normal to experience sadness, to have bad weeks or days; it is a natural reaction to life's ups and downs. However, if you are feeling hopeless and a despair that seems unending, you may be suffering from depression. Depression is not a sign of weakness, and it is not something that can be easily overcome. Depression alters the way you think, feel, and function in your daily activities, making it difficult to work, sleep, and enjoy life.
If you experience any of the following symptoms most of the day, every day for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression.
. Persistent annoyance, sadness, and despair
. A significant decrease in interest or pleasure in activities that you normally enjoy
. Sleep or appetite problems
. Agitation (slower motor movement) or psychomotor retardation (restlessness and excessive movement associated with a state of tension)
. Fatigue or loss of energy; even simple tasks can be exhausting.
. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
. Impaired ability to think, memory, and concentration, as well as indecision
. Recurrent suicidal or death thoughts, attempted suicide, or a specific plan to commit suicide
It should be noted that the severity and frequency of these symptoms may differ from person to person.
Psychotherapy, antidepressant medications, or both can be used to treat depression. The vast majority of people significantly improve with treatment. Many people with depression, however, do not seek help because they believe they can handle it on their own, do not want to appear weak, or mistake it for temporary sadness. If you suffer from or suspect that you suffer from depression, take the first step, talk to a mental health professional (psychologist or psychiatrist).
Psychotherapist and clinical psychologist