Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Depression is one of the most undiagnosed conditions among seniors. Signs of depression are often ignored because of other "more important" medical problems. Some people (including many doctors) dismiss obvious signs of depression as a "normal part of aging," even though they aren't. But, not everyone has the same signs and symptoms of depression.
If you or your loved one experience FIVE or more of the following signs of depression longer than two weeks, or if the depression is severe enough to interfere with daily routine, see your doctor or a qualified mental health professional. A thorough physical exam may be needed to rule out other illnesses or problems with medications.
Symptoms of depression include:
A persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood
Sleeping too little — or sleeping too much
Reduced appetite and weight loss — or increased appetite and weight gain
Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
Restlessness or irritability
Persistent physical symptoms that don't respond to treatment [headaches, chronic pain, or constipation and other digestive disorders]
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Fatigue or loss of energy
Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
Thoughts of death or suicide
In the past, depression was severely stigmatized; self-denial was often carried to the extreme by sufferers of the condition. This was particularly true among men who saw it as a personal weakness — only women came down with it.
Now that it is better understood, we know that it is treatable with medications in most cases. Indeed, for today's patients, treatment results are often so dramatic that you will hear comments like, "Thank you for giving me my life back!
— Information Source —
This information was found on the MEDLINEplus Web site. For more information, click on signs of depression.
MEDLINEplus is a gold mine of up-to-date, quality health care information assembled by the Library of Medicine at the U.S. National Institutes of Health. To go to MEDLINEplus, click here.
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