Depression symptoms can be widely diverse between individuals and can develop and persist for long or short periods of time. Causes for depression are equally diverse and will not be covered here.
The most common symptoms of depression are sleep problems, loss of sexual libido, appetite loss/increase, and weight loss/gain.
The fact that one person suffering from depression may stop eating and lose a significant amount of weight, while another person suffering from depression may overeat and gain a significant amount of weight, underlines the variation within the disorder.
As with other mental illness issues, depression is typically more difficult to recognize and diagnose than a somatic disorder. Misdiagnoses are frequent.
Typically individuals who experience depression will have an average of 5 repeated episodes within their lifetime.
Some depression symptoms:
- gradual decrease in speed of speech, thoughts
- intense guilt
- inability to concentrate
- feeling of despair, loneliness
- low self-esteem
- feeling of hopelessness
- thoughts of death and suicide
- sleep problems (including increasing length of sleep)
- inability to have fun
- constant complaining
- feelings of inadequacy, failure, negativity
- loss/gain of appetite
- loss/gain of weight
For a more complete list of depression and anxiety symptoms please consult alternative sources of medical information in the links throughout this site.
Diagnosis is typically through examination, discussion, and observation. Standard questionnaires may also be utilized to aid diagnosis.
Treatment are varied but typically involve drug therapy and/or counseling. Untreated a typical depression can last about 6 months.