Depression is commonly a reaction to a loss or experiences in life. Ordinarily it is brief and of a fairly low intensity. The more serious version of depression is a medical illness that involves the brain. It’s more than just a feeling of being “down in the dumps” or “blue” for a brief while. If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who suffer regularly with depression, the feelings do not go away, at least not for very long. They persist and interfere with your everyday life; work, relationships, and simply the demands of every-day life. You simply don’t have the capacity to invest much of yourself in most anything. In these instances, professional help may be effective.
Symptoms can include:
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
- Change in weight, up or down
- Difficulty sleeping; getting to sleep, staying asleep, or oversleeping
- Loss of Energy
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression is a disorder of the brain. There are a variety of causes, including genetic, environmental, psychological, and biochemical factors. Depression usually begins between 15 and 30 years of age, and is much more common in women. Women can also suffer from postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Some people get seasonal effective disorder in the winter. Additionally, depression is one part of bipolar disorder.
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