By Raymond Prats

DO you have symptoms of clinical depression? Sure, most of us feel sad, lonely, or depressed at times.

And feeling depressed is a normal reaction to loss, life’s struggles, or an injured self-esteem.

But when these feelings become overwhelming and last for long periods of time, they can keep you from leading a normal, active life.

That is when it is time to seek medical help.

If left untreated, symptoms of clinical or major depression may worsen and last for years. They can cause untold suffering and possibly lead to suicide.

Recognising the symptoms of depression is often the biggest hurdle to the diagnosis and treatment of clinical or major depression.

What are symptoms of depression?

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

How is depression diagnosed?

The diagnosis of depression often begins with a physical exam by a doctor.

Although there is no ‘depression test’ that a mental health expert can use to diagnose symptoms of depression, there are certain features, which he or she will look for in order to make the proper diagnosis of depression.

Your doctor will want to know when your symptoms started, how long they have lasted, and how severe they are, as well as any family history of mental illness.

How are symptoms of depression treated?

If a physical cause for the symptoms of depression is ruled out, your doctor may begin an initial treatment, or else refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment.

When should I seek help for symptoms of depression?

If symptoms of depression are negatively affecting your life – such as causing difficulties with relationships or work issues or causing family disputes – and there is not a clear solution to these problems, then you should seek help.

Talking with a mental health counsellor or health care professional can help prevent things from getting worse, especially if symptoms persist for any length of time.

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  1. Would like to mention that Thyroid problems also can cause depresive symptoms.Many times missed by the Doctors,always should ask for this to be included in your blood test.Both my husband and I were “missed” been checked out and given incorrect medication.Once discovered and given the correct medication,were able to feel far better.

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