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Sadness in mood is a normal reaction to life’s struggles, setbacks and disappointments. Many people use the word “Depression” to explain these kinds of feelings, but depression is much more than just sadness. Some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom. However, some depressed people don't feel sad at all—they may feel lifeless, empty and apathetic or some patients may even feel, irritable and restless
Whatever the symptoms, depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life, interfering with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. The feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness are so intense that it hampers day to day activities.
Depression varies from person to person, the most common signs and symptoms are -
• Low mood or irritability- Feeling low, irritable and restless.
• Loss of energy- Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
• Loss of interest in daily activities- No interest in former hobbies, social activities or sex.
• Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness- A bleak outlook that nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
• Worthlessness- Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Patients harshly criticize themselves for perceived faults and mistakes.
• Appetite or weight changes- Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
• Sleep disturbance- Changes either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
• Reckless behavior- engage in avoidance behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
• Concentration problems- Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
• Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
After the diagnosis, a person with depression can be treated in several ways. The most common treatments are medication and psychotherapy.