What Is Depression?


Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.

Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:

  • Feeling sad or having a depressed mood

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed

  • Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting

  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much

  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue

  • Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)

  • Feeling worthless or guilty

  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

 

Symptoms must last at least two weeks for a diagnosis of depression.

Also, medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression so it is important to rule out general medical causes.

Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can strike at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.

Contact Libertas Counseling to address depression symptoms.

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Email: Kency@LibertasCounseling.com

Phone: 413-342-1756
15 Benton Drive, Suite 11
East Longmeadow, MA 01028

Tuesday - Friday 5:30pm - 8:30pm

Saturday 8:00am - 2:00pm

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