Depression




Depression

Depression

Feeling sad, lonely or depressed at times is part of the human condition especially when there has been a loss or life struggle or injured self-esteem.  A diagnosis of clinical depression is made when during those times the feelings become overwhelming, cause physical symptoms, and last for long period of time, keeping you from leading a normal, active life.  That is when it is time to seek help.  

Recognizing the symptoms is the key which can include:
  • Trouble concentrating, remembering details or making decisions
  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness
  • Pessimism and hopelessness
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or sleeping too much
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest in things once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Aches, pains, headaches or cramps that won’t go away
  • Digestive problems that don’t get better, even with treatment
  • Persistent sade, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
What are the warning signs of suicide with depression?
 
  • A sudden switch from sadness to extreme calmness or appearing to be happy
  • Always thinking or talking about death
  • Clinical depression (see symptoms above)
  • Taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving through red lights
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless or worthless
  • Putting affairs in order, like tying up loose ends or changing a will
  • Saying things like “It would be better if I weren’t here or “I want out”
  • Talking about suicide
  • Suddenly visiting or calling family or loved ones when it hasn’t happened in a while or giving away possessions

Risk factors for depression include a family history of depression, big stressors such as grief or loss, conflict with family or friends, chronic illnesses or substance abuse.