Common symptoms of depression can make work and daily life almost impossible. Depression can skew your view of the world, making everything seem hopeless. Depression can make you feel utterly alone.
But you're not. Major depression affects about 14 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the population 18 or older in any given year. This guide will help you recognize some of the symptoms of depression.
You may already know some of the emotional and psychological effects of depression. They include:
- Feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or numb. These feelings are with you most of the day, every day.
- Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy. You might no longer bother with hobbies that you used to love. You might not like being around friends. You might lose interest in sex.
- Irritability or anxiety. You might be short-tempered and find it hard to relax.
- Trouble making decisions. Depression can make it hard to think clearly or concentrate. Making a simple choice can seem overwhelming.
- Feeling guilty or worthless. These feelings are often exaggerated or inappropriate to the situation. You might feel guilty for things that aren't your fault or that you have no control over. Or you may feel intense guilt for minor mistakes.
- Thoughts of death and suicide. The types of thoughts vary. Some people wish that they were dead, feeling that the world would be better off without them. Others make very explicit plans to hurt themselves. One of the best ways to prevent suicide in someone that is depressed is to recognize the warning signs of suicide. Take these signs seriously.
The good news is that depression is a treatable condition that responds to a variety of treatments.