Read the following information to help you decide whether you might have
depression. It does not take the place of a doctor's
Depression causes you to feel sad and hopeless much of
the time. It's different from normal feelings of sadness, grief, or low energy.
Depression is a medical problem that needs treatment. If you think you may be
depressed, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment right away. Untreated
depression may get worse.
Serotonin acts as a neurotransmitter, a type of chemical that helps relay signals from one area of the brain to another. Although serotonin is manufactured in the brain, where it performs its primary functions, some 90% of our serotonin supply is found in the digestive tract and in blood platelets.
You may have major depression if you
have at least five of the symptoms listed below for 2 weeks or longer and one
of the symptoms is either sadness or loss of interest. You may:
Feel sad, hopeless, or empty. Others might have
noticed that you appear sad or tearful.
Lose interest in or not get
pleasure from most daily activities.
Lose or gain weight because of
changes in how hungry you feel.
Sleep too much or not
Feel restless and not able to sit still, or sit quietly and
feel that moving takes great effort.
Feel tired all the
Feel unworthy or guilty for no reason. You may worry that
people don't like you.
Find it hard to focus, remember things, or
A serious symptom of depression is thinking about death and
suicide. If you or someone you care about talks about suicide or feeling
hopeless, get help right away.
warning signs of suicide, which include talking a lot
about death, giving things away, or using a lot of alcohol, drugs, or both. If
you see these signs in yourself or a loved one, get help.
think you may have depression, take this short quiz to check your
Interactive Tool: Are You Depressed?
If you have fewer symptoms, you may still be depressed and
need treatment. No matter how many symptoms you have, it's important to see
your doctor. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chance for a quick
and full recovery.
There are several types of depression that may
have different symptoms and patterns. These include:
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
People who have seasonal affective disorder are depressed only at a certain
time each year, usually in the fall and winter months.