Depression is a normal reaction to sad and discouraging life events, but clinical depression is a serious medical condition that needs treatment by a doctor or psychiatrist. The question is, when is it appropriate to seek medical treatment. The answer should be that whenever a question about health concerns you to seek the advice of a doctor, but rising medical costs may prevent people from making an appointment with a doctor. A depression self assessment can help you to determine if it is time to make that appointment.
This article contains general information about symptoms of depression. The Mayo Clinic website offers a quick Depression Self Assessment to help you determine how serious your symptoms are. The self assessment, which is just .. questions long can help tell you if your depression is mild, moderate or severe. The Depression Self Assessment on the Mayo Clinic website is free to use and can be very helpful.
Just about everyone has occasional bouts of feeling down, related to sad or stressful events in their lives. Sadness is a normal reaction to events such as the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, financial stress and disappointment in any number of events. The depression related to life events is usually temporary.
Depression is more common in women and usually runs in families. Women can experience postpartum depression after the birth of a baby. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can cause depression during the winter months. Depression is also part of bipolar disorder.
The National Institute of Health lists some of the symptoms of depression on their website:
Symptoms of Depression
Little interest in activities you used to enjoy, including sex
Feeling down, depressed or hopeless
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or hopeless
Feeling irritable or restless
Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
Feeling tired or little energy
Poor appetite or overeating
Feeling badly about yourself
Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts
Persistent aches and pains
Major depression is a serious medical condition involving the brain, which is much more severe than “feeling the blues” or being “down in the dumps. It is estimated that over 20 million people in the United States suffer from depression, which can be successfully treated with medications and/or psychotherapy. The Mayo Clinic website has a depression self assessment that can be used to determine whether you should see a doctor about your feelings of depression.
Information in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have questions about health issues please contact a physician or mental health professional.
Mayo Clinic Website
National Institute of Health
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