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Feb 06th

Depression a serious illness – Recognize the signs

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shutterstock 148518026Depression can include a combination of symptoms:

• Feelings of sadness, emptiness or unhappiness
• Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
• Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities, such as sex
• Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much
• Tiredness and lack of energy, so that even small tasks take extra effort
• Changes in appetite — often reduced appetite and weight loss, but increased cravings for food and weight gain in some people
• Anxiety, agitation or restlessness — for example, excessive worrying, pacing, hand-wringing or inability to sit still
• Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
• Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself for things that are not your responsibility
• Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
• Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
• Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

Types of depression are nuanced and varied. Some individuals can have combinations of the following:

Anxious distress — unusual restlessness or worry about possible events or loss of control
Mixed features — simultaneous depression and mania, which includes elevated self-esteem, talking too much, and racing thoughts and ideas
Melancholic features — severe depression with a profound lack of response to something that used to bring pleasure, associated with early morning awakening, worsened mood in the morning, significant changes in appetite, and feelings of guilt, agitation or sluggishness
Atypical features — ability to be cheered by happy events, increased appetite, little need for sleep, sensitivity to rejection, and a heavy feeling in arms or legs
Psychotic features — depression accompanied by delusions or hallucinations, which may involve themes of personal inadequacy or negative themes
Catatonia — includes motor activity that involves either uncontrollable and purposeless movement or fixed and inflexible posture
Peripartum onset — occurs during pregnancy or in the weeks or months after delivery (postpartum)
Seasonal pattern — related to changes in seasons and diminished exposure to sunlight

Mayo Clinic News Network

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