Most people feel sad or low at some point in their lives. But clinical depression is marked by a depressed mood most of the day, sometimes particularly in the morning, and a loss of interest in normal activities and relationships
•Fatigue or loss of energy almost every day
•Feelings of worthlessness or guilt almost every day
•Impaired concentration, indecisiveness
•Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) almost every day
•Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities nearly every day (called anhedonia, this symptom can be indicated by reports from significant others)
•Restlessness or feeling slowed down
•Recurring thoughts of death or suicide
•Significant weight loss or gain (a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month)
What Triggers Major Depression?
Some common triggers or causes of major depression include:
•Loss of a loved one through death, divorce, or separation
•Social isolation or feelings of being deprived
•Major life changes — moving, graduation, job change, retirement
•Personal conflicts in relationships, either with a significant other or a superior
•Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
How Is Major Depression Treated?
Major or clinical depression is a serious but treatable illness. Depending on the severity of symptoms, your primary care doctor or a psychiatrist may recommend treatment with an antidepressant medication. He or she may also suggest psychotherapy, or talk therapy, in which you address your emotional state.
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