Everyone goes through periods of feeling sad, lonely, or unhappy. Everyday events, and our reactions to them, sometimes interfere with our peace of mind. That's all part of life. But when such feelings linger for weeks or months, preventing a return to a healthy outlook on life, they could signal depression. These symptoms have a significant intensity and duration and can affect a person's functioning and sense of well-being in a variety of ways. This type of depression impairs a person's ability to carry on with normal life activities, work, or relationships, and causes significant distress. It may require treatment.
The symptoms of depression can include:
· feelings of sadness
· loss of interest and/or pleasure in once enjoyed activities (hobbies, sex, etc.)
· changes in appetite or weight
· changes in sleeping patterns
· restlessness or decreased activity that is noticeable to others
· feelings of fatigue or having little energy
· difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
· feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
· recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
If you experience feelings of sadness or loss of interest plus four or more of the other symptoms listed above most of the time for two weeks or more, you could be depressed. You should see a therapist to determine the possible causes of these symptoms.