Depression is both a mood disorder and a whole-body disorder. People who are diagnosed with depression experience persistent feelings of sadness and a lack of energy, influencing the way the patient thinks, feels, and functions in their daily lives.
Clinical depression is different from occasional unhappiness or feeling “blue.” It can hinder the person’s work, way of eating, sleeping habits, or enjoyment of life in general. If left untreated by a doctor who has experience in diagnosing depression, it can become a serious risk to the person’s life.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
There are common signs and symptoms of people with depression, including the following:
- Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Body movements are slower, as well as thinking and speaking
- Reduced appetite leading to weight loss
- Gaining weight or increased desire for food
- Sleep changes or unusual sleep disturbances
- Engaging in reckless or escapist behavior such as gambling, substance abuse, or dangerous sports
- Agitation or irritability
- Having a bleak outlook on life
- Unexplained back pain, stomach pain, aching muscles, or headaches that don’t get better with medication
- Continuous feelings of fatigue or restlessness
- Self-loathing and feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Trouble concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
- Recurring thoughts or talk of death or suicide attempts
These can last for weeks, months, or even years if left without proper treatment. Suitable treatment can help people with depression and ease the symptoms.
Depression in Children and Teenagers
There can be some differences in how the symptoms of depression appear in children and teens as compared to adults. The common signs and symptoms of depression in younger people are the following:
For younger children:
- Feelings of irritability, extreme worrying, and clinginess
- Physical pains
- Refusing to attend school
- Being underweight
- Feelings of irritability or anger
- Negative thoughts and feelings of worthlessness
- Unsatisfactory performance or attendance at school
- Use of recreational drugs or alcohol
- Overeating or oversleeping
- Loss of interest in usual activities
- Social withdrawal
- Feeling misinterpreted
Depression in Adults
Adults may feel reluctant to get help, so depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Signs and symptoms of depression may be less obvious in older adults.
Signs of clinical depression in adults can include the following:
- Physical pain
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Memory problems
- Avoiding social interaction
- Sudden personality changes
- Sleeping difficulties or loss of interest in sexual intercourse
- Thoughts and feelings of suicide, particularly in older men
Getting Emergency Help
Call 911 if you think that you or a loved one may attempt suicide. You can talk to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (800-273-8255). To reach the Veterans Crisis Line, use that same number and press 1.
Make sure someone stays with the person who is in danger of suicide or has attempted suicide. If possible, get the person to the nearest hospital.
Psychiatric Care in Connecticut and New York
Depression should be treated with utmost care and sincerity. It can have a lasting effect on the lives of the patients, as well as their friends and families. There are available treatments and counseling for depression that can help patients cope.
We at Psy-Visions of Connecticut can help you or your loved one who is suffering from depression. Our caring staff provides a compassionate and supportive environment to help alleviate the symptoms a person with depression is experiencing, and we know which treatments can work.
If you would like to schedule a consultation, call us today at (203) 405-1745 or request an appointment via our online form now. You may also send Dr. Mark Stracks a secure message. We look forward to helping you take control of your life again.