Everyone has "been in the
dumps," "felt the blues," and been pessimistic at
some point in their lives. It's normal to feel these emotions but
if they continue for a long period of time, they may be signs of
depression. People are often angry because they are unhappy. If
things continue to make a person feel unhappy for an extended period
of time, it could lead to mild or major depression. There are three
dimensions of depression. First is frequency. How often do you feel
down or depressed? Second is severity of the depression. How bad
is it? And third is duration. How long does it last?
Common physical signs of depression include changes in sleeping
and eating pattern. Other signs of depression are fatigue, headaches,
stomachaches, or other inexplicable aches and pains. It also affects
behavior/attitude such as diminished interest and enjoyment of previously
pleasurable activities-sex, sports, hobbies, going out with friends,
etc. A person may also have difficulty concentrating or making decisions
and neglect responsibilities and personal appearance. Emotional
symptoms include feeling dejected, apathetic, apprehensive, guilty,
pessimistic, irritable, hopeless, negative, empty, suicidal thoughts,
and helplessness. Low self-esteem is common with depression.
People often ignore or misinterpret the signs of depression. Depression
frequently goes undetected and untreated among the general population.
Various scientific studies have shown decreased levels of hormones
linked to depression. About 10-15% of depressive symptoms are caused
by medical conditions such as Hypothyroidism,
Disease (adrenal fatigue), stroke, and dementia among others.
A simple saliva test can be conducted to determine whether the adrenals
Depression afflicts approximately 19 million Americans, from children
to the elderly, in all walks of life. depression
in elderly may be difficult to detect since signs of depression
are associated with aging rather than with depressive disorder.
Teenage depression is more
common than many realize. Serious emotional disturbances affect
1 in every 10 young people at any given time (U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service
Administration). According to a new report on women
and depression released by the American Psychological Association,
"women are twice as likely as men to experience a major depressive
episode." There are several different forms and stages of depression
ranging from Seasonal
Affective Disorder to cyclothymia.
Signs of depression are not always definite so they are often ignored.
Signs of depression are less severe in Dysthymia,
a form of chronic depression that can have a corrosive effect on
a person's life.