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Depression: What It Is And Signs To Look For

Signs Of Depression

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Depression can show up as one symptom or as a combination of symptoms which occur together or separately over a period of time. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood.
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism.
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness.
  • Loss of pleasure or interest in things that used to make you happy, such as hobbies, work and even sex.
  • Feeling tired all the time including decreased energy, fatigue, and feeling "slowed down".
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions.
  • Changes in sleep patterns such as insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping.
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain.
  • Crying a lot.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide as well as suicide attempts.
  • Restlessness, irritability.
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.
  • Trouble paying attention.

Researchers are beginning to believe that depression may show different signs and symptoms in men and women. Current thinking is:

  • Women are more inclined than men to feel sad, weepy, worthless or guilty.  
  • Men are more inclined to get angry and irritable, feel an increasing loss of control over their lives, take greater risks, become more aggressive, and complain more about problems at work. Men also tend to have sexual problems (loss of interest, erectile difficulties) and/or sleep disturbances.

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