Depression is biopsychosocial phenomenon that affects 7% of population every year and the rate is higher among younger adults around age of 18 to 29 including older adults over the age of 60. Depression is genetically inherited by about 40% and it is more common among female gender. The difference between feeling sad and clinically depressed is the duration as the later lasts at least for two weeks most of the day and nearly every day. Five of the following symptoms which are observed by the person and friends and family indicate depression:
- Feeling sad and depressed most of the day and every day. For example, someone who feels sad and hopeless regardless of what situation they are in including situations in which the person used to find joy.
- Losing interest in pleasurable activities. For instance, someone who liked watching Games of Thrones but they no longer find it interesting or enjoyable.
- Significant weight gain or loss while not dieting or trying to actively gain weight can be a sign of depression. The significant difference would be around 5% change in usual body weight.
- Oversleeping or undersleeping more than usual nearly every day. For example, someone who could get a refreshing sleep after 7 hours now sleeps for 10 hours and yet feels tired and exhausted.
- Chronic fatigue is another symptom especially if it is not related to any other illness such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Feeling that they are not good enough and experiencing inappropriate guilt for no reason can be another indication for depression. It is an excessive and abnormal guilt and feelings of worthless that no matter what the evidence suggest still the person strongly believes it.
- Difficulty concentrating on tasks that were easy or effortless to perform and now it is ten times harder to pay attention to what needs to be done which also leads to difficulty for making a decision.
- Having thoughts about death and dying sometimes in form of “I wish I was dead,” or “ I want to die now but I can’t do it,” “or I am going to overdose on these pills right now.”
The best way to know if someone is depressed is that it causes significant impairment in personal, social, and career areas of life. In other words, you are not the same person as you used to be and friends and family have noticed that too. If you have lost someone recently, then it is normal for you to feel the loss and be sad about it, but if you have realized that you no longer live the life you had and other areas are affected as well then you might be suffering from depression; therefore, book your appointment with your therapist today.
Khobi Attai, MA, specializes the areas of abuse and domestic violence, as well as a variety of other subjects. For more information on Khobi and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.