A persistent feeling of sadness that just won’t go away is one of the early warning signs that someone may be suffering from depression. This underlying melancholy can rise to feelings of hopelessness, which can then lead to feelings of worthlessness, which can make it difficult to appreciate things that are typically enjoyable. As soon as there is no longer anything to enjoy, the physical manifestations of depression begin to worsen and harm the body. Depression causes a person’s body and mind to become consumed by symptoms of depression, such as fatigue, difficulty focusing, sleeplessness or oversleeping, frequent headaches, and changes in eating patterns. Depression can also affect a person’s ability to feel pleasure.
A mild depression, if left untreated, can grow into a clinical depression, which is the most severe depression. One sign of clinical depression is thoughts of suicide. Another clinical depression symptom is an inability to function in almost all aspects of daily living. The inability to get out of bed, the frequent struggle to do even the simplest of tasks, and the lack of motivation to communicate with family and friends are all signs of this type of depression. Any sign of depression that interferes with daily life should be noted with serious regard. If five of the above symptoms last for more than two weeks, treatment should be eagerly sought.
Symptoms of manic depression that occur for just one week indicate that treatment for the depression is needed. Symptoms of mania include elevated moods, high and low, followed by “grandiose” thoughts or racing thoughts which might be accompanied by inappropriate social behavior, poor judgment, and risk-taking behavior. Symptoms of mania-type depressive illness also include extreme energy levels and inappropriate over-excitement, and over-talking.
About 9 million to 18 million adults in the U.S. will experience depression in any given year. One of the most pervasive and long-lasting mental health issues in the world is depression and can be caused by a variety of factors, including chemical imbalances in the brain, genetic predispositions, traumatic experiences or events, hormonal shifts, changes in lifestyle, stress, adverse effects of medication, and even poverty.
Many people suffer depression on many different levels for many different reasons. The National Institute of Mental Health offers information on depression, which can be helpful to read if you or a loved one is suffering from any symptoms of depression; on their official website, they offer definitions, treatment advice, and the latest news regarding mental health treatment and the treatment and symptoms of depression.
It is important not to ignore the signs and symptoms of depression, and even one sign of depression should be cause for concern so that one can be on the lookout for additional and more persistent symptoms. Treatment of depression in its early stages is essential to prevent its potentially devastating effects; if you experience any symptoms of depression, seek assistance from family and friends, and do not allow depression to prevent you from enjoying the pleasures of life that you might otherwise miss out on.