You're not alone. 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 spot some of the symptoms of depression.
- 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 not bother with hobbies you used to love. You might not like being around friends. You may 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 they were dead, feeling that the world would be better off without them. Others make explicit plans to hurt themselves.
The good news is that depression responds to a variety of treatments. You and your doctor can choose one that's right for you.