It is absolutely normal to feel down once in awhile, that’s part of life. But it stops being normal when emotions like despair, helplessness and anguish take control of your days.
Depression is a serious and common medical illness that affects how you feel, how you face life, how you interact with others, and how you think. Hopelessness and sadness, are constant daily feelings experienced by a depressed person. The lack of interest in things that you used to enjoy is also a symptom that could show you may have depression…and depression makes everything difficult for you.
Even though you might feel overwhelmed and alone, you are not. Approximately 1 in 15 adults are affected by depression in any given year, and 1 in 6 will know how it is to live with it at some point of their life. So, it is more common than we think, but sometimes is not diagnosed or detected because patients don’t pay attention to the symptoms or they just want to hide their condition to their loved ones.
According to the American Psychiatric Association you should be aware of the following symptoms in order to detect depression on time:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
You may experiment some or all of those symptoms, but the important message here is that depression patients don’t have to suffer in silence. A certain feeling of shame often prevents patients from seeking help on time, and they probably don’t know that there are also medical conditions like tumors, vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems, that can mimic symptoms of depression.
The only way to receive appropriate help and treatment is to pay attention to the symptoms and consult a doctor as soon as it is clear that those symptoms have persisted for 2 or more weeks.
Call us today at 954.DOCTORS (362.8677). At Hallandale Medical Center, your health is our priority.