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Am I Depressed?
The Signs and Symptoms of Depression, Plus Causes and Cures.

Am I depressed? We all go through normal emotional changes. Sadness is a normal reaction to lifeís problems. But depression is much more than just sadness. Depression is worse than feeling blue or sad. Depression makes it hard to work, study, eat, sleep, and have fun. For some people, depression is like living in a black hole. Some depressed people have a sense of doom. Other depressed people feel sad or lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Depressed people have strong persistent feelings that they are beyond help, have no hope or are worthless.
  1. Signs That I Might Be Depressed
  2. I Might Be Depressed If I Have these Feelings
  3. I Might Be Depressed If I Think About Suicide
  4. I May Be Depressed Because of Life Problems
  5. There are Many Types of Depression
  6. The Causes of Depression
  7. If You Are Mildly Depressed, You Can Help Yourself
  8. If You Are Depressed, Talk Therapy Can Help
  9. If You Are Depressed, Antidepressants and Drugs Can Help

am i depressedSigns That I Might Be Depressed

You might be depressed if you have thses signs and symptoms of depression. The symptoms are not always easy to detect. And depression is different for each person.
  • You might be depressed if you canít sleep or you sleep too much.
  • You might be depressed if you canít concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult.
  • You might be depressed if you feel hopeless and helpless.
  • You might be depressed if your thoughts are negative and out of control.
  • You might be depressed if you have lost your appetite or you canít stop eating.
  • You might be depressed if you become much more irritable and short-tempered than usual.
  • You might be depressed if you cry often.
  • You are depressed if you think about death or suicide. In every case, thoughts of death or suicide are a serious symptom of depression.

am i depressedI Might Be Depressed If I Have these Feelings

You might be depressed if you often become irritable, hostile, grumpy and full of rage. Do you have unexplained aches and pains? These feelings are also symptoms of depression in teens.

As a man, you might be depressed and consider depression as a sign of weakness. Instead of identifying their depression, depressed men complain about fatigue, irritability, sleep problems and lack of interest in work and hobbies. In men, anger, aggression, violence, reckless behavior and substance abuse are often symptoms of depression. Men who are depressed are at a high risk of suicide.

Depression affects women twice as often as men. A woman's depression can be related to hormonal problems and PMS. Some women become depressed after childbirth and during menopause. The symptoms of depression in women are feelings of guilt, sleeping excessively, overeating and gaining weight. Women are also more likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder.

am i depressedI Might Be Depressed If I Think About Suicide

Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. People who are depressed may want to hurt themselves or others. A person who talks of suicide needs immediate help . If you are depressed and think about suicide, talk to your health professional for assistance, diagnosis and treatment. The despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression hurts. If you are depressed, you may think that suicide is the only way to escape the pain.

am i depressedI May Be Depressed Because of Life Problems

There are some important factors in your biology, your psychology, lifestyle and life events that can lead to depression. You are at risk for depression if you have grief and unhappiness in your life. You may become depressed while you experience problems in your life.
  • Loneliness
  • Lack of social support
  • Recent loss or death of a loved one
  • Family history of depression
  • Difficult relationship problems
  • Money worries
  • Childhood trauma or abuse
  • Alcohol or drug problems
  • Unemployment or underemployment
  • Medical problems or chronic pain

am i depressedThere are Many Types of Depression

Depression is different in different people. Everyone has unique symptoms, causes, and effects. Clinical depression shows symptoms that are constant and moderate or severe. Without treatment, clinical depression lasts about six months, and it can recur. Atypical depression comes and goes with mood changes, but the symptoms always return. Dysthmia is chronic mild depression with symptoms that continue a long time. SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, is depression triggered in the fall or winter by the absence of sunlight. Light therapy treats SAD with doses of bright artificial light to relieve the symptoms. Bipolar Disorder, also called manic depression, causes strong mood swings from deep depression to manic highs. During the mania, the person becomes impulsive, hyperactive and is unable to sleep. You may be depressed as a side effect of prescription medications and illness, too.

am i depressedThe Causes of Depression

Depression has been recognized all through history, as far back as the Bible. In centuries past, depression was thought to be an inherited weakness of temperament. Freud thought that guilt and conflict were the causes of depression. Today, doctors admit that they don't really know what causes depression. Depression is related to a chemical imbalance in the brain marked by lower levels serotonin and norepinephrine. But we don't know if depression causes the brain chemical imbalance, or vice versa. There is no laboratory test, blood test, or X-ray that can diagnose depression and tell you if you are depressed.

am i depressedIf You Are Mildly Depressed, You Can Help Yourself

If you are depressed, there are four ways to cure or treat depression: self-help, lifestyle changes, medication and therapy. If you are depressed, sometimes you can get over depression by helping yourself. Finding a better job, moving away from stressful people, distracting yourself from your grief, are all ways to lift the sadness and depression from your shoulders. It helps lift your depression if you spend more time with people. Make friends, volunteer or work on hobbies so that your life is open to happier feelings. A healthier lifestyle with no drugs or alcohol will often relieve depression.
  • But many times if you are depressed, depression drains your initiative and blocks your ability to help yourself. Ask for help and support, especially when your depression is overwhelming. It is important that you talk to a health professional. Medicine and therapy can be very effective and are often recommended to treat your depression.

    am i depressedIf You Are Depressed, Talk Therapy Can Help

    Like any illness, depression often requires medical treatment. Talking to a therapist is often effective treatment for depression. Therapy is often recommended in combination with antidepressants. A therapist will give you tools to treat depression and to understand yourself better. You'll develop the skills and insight to overcome depression and move past it. As you work with a therapist you'll learn what causesm your depression and how to stay healthy.

    am i depressedIf You Are Depressed, Antidepressants and Drugs Can Help

    Depression is a major illness of modern life. We are fortunate to have antidepressants available that help with it. Medication can help relieve the symptoms of depression in many people, but they donít cure everyone. And the depression is liable to return later. Sometimes, the doctor will need to try several antidepressants to find the most effective one. Antidepressants should not be discontinued suddenly, but only gradually over a period of weeks.

    There are five classes of drugs and medications for depression, SSRIs, NDRIs, TCAs, MAOIs, and atypical antidepressants. All classes of medications have some effect on both norepinephrine and serotonin, as well as on other brain neurotransmitters.

    SSRI stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Used in drug therapy for depression, SSRIs primarily act on serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter that affects mood. SSRIs are widely used antidepressants. Familiar brand names are Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Luvox and Lexapro. Generally, SSRIs may have a few mild temporary side effects, like nausia, insomnia, headache, low libido and tremors.

    SNRI stands for serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. They are antidepressants that increase the levels of two brain neurotransmitters, serotonin and norepinephrine. SNRIs are new, promising drugs especially to treat severe and chronic depression. Brand names include Cymbalta, Meridia and Effexor.

    TCA stands for tricyclic antidepressant. TCAs were introduced in 1950s to treat depression as well as many other nervous conditions. TCAs have been largely replaced by newer antidepressants. There are many brand names, including Elavil, Norpramin and Tofranil.

    NDRI stands for norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitors. Wellbutrin is one brand name.

    MAOI stands for monoamine oxidase inhibitors. To treat depression, MAOIs works by blocking the enzymes that trigger the oxidation of monoamines and thus break down neurotransmitters in the brain. MAOIs are prescribed only when other antidepressants are not effective. These antidepressants have serious and potentially lethal interactions with specific foods and other drugs. Some brand names are Marplan, Nardil, and Parnate.

    I hope life brings you much success.
    I wish you a very happy day.

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