|Arun Sharma, M.D. is a psychiatrist with the Alegent Creighton Health Psychiatric Associates, and is the Medical Director for the Alegent Creighton Center for Mental Health.|
Q: What are the signs of depression?
A: Depression can affect anyone, and while most people are comfortable seeing a professional for their physical illnesses, we often perceive ourselves as defective.
One of the biggest problems with depression is that people do not recognize it as an illness. As many as ten to fifteen percent of individuals in the U.S. may at some point in their lives develop a depressive disorder.
Many fail to realize that depression is a condition that affects your whole body—not only the way you think, but the way your body feels. And when treated properly, with a combination of medication and therapy, most experience relief.
The following are symptoms of depression. Not everyone with depression will have all these symptoms or will have them to the same degree. But if you have experienced five of them for a period of two weeks, you should consider seeking help from a professional.
- persistent sadness or unhappiness
- loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities
- weight loss or gain
- change in normal sleep pattern
- physical discomfort or pain
- difficulty thinking or concentrating or making decisions
- thoughts of suicide or death.