Depression is a pattern of multiple symptoms occurring over the course of two weeks or more. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition, text revised, a depression diagnosis must include feeling depression or having a loss of interest or pleasure in activities. These symptoms are a loss from previous functioning and must be correlated to the depression. A person is generally diagnosed with depression if they meet five or more of the symptom criteria with at least one being one of the first two.
9 Signs of Depression
- feeling depressed
- having a loss of interest or pleasure in activities
- significant change in weight and/or appetite
- difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
- feeling more restless and agitated or significantly slowed down
- worsening fatigue
- feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- difficulty concentrating or slowed thinking
- thoughts of suicide or recent attempts
Depression can be caused by a variety of factors including, stressors, genes, environment, medical problems, culture, personal losses, among others. These will often further define the depression into different types which may affect treatment choices. If someone is experiencing symptoms of depression and they are not getting better or they are getting worse, it is important to seek help. Seeing a specialist will help confirm a diagnosis of depression and determine the best course of treatment considering a cause.