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What is Depression?

Emotional Health Videos

What is Depression?

Clinical depression is more than just a general feeling of unhappiness. It’s serious illness where spells of low mood can seriously affect your physical health. Depression is widespread and can affect people of all ages and cultures. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 10% of the population has episodes of mood disorder.

There are many different types of depression that vary in severity,symptoms and treatment.

Primary depression is when the illness has developed on its own. Secondary depression is when the low mood has been caused by another illness such as a thyroid hormone imbalance or steroid use.

Depression affects different people in different ways. Some things that may be symptoms of depression are:

• Low mood, loss of pleasure and loss of interest in usual activities

• Poor self esteem and self-image

• Poor concentration

• Indecisiveness and lack of drive

• Feeling useless, helpless or guilty

• Sleep disturbance where is poor and the patient often wakes up in the middle of the night and finds it hard to get back to sleep

• Change of Appetite can occur, more commonly a loss of appetite rather than overeating.

• Loss of sex drive

Depression is diagnosed by having a talk with your doctor. It can’t be seen on a blood test or scan. Instead, if you or your doctor suspects depression you’ll be asked a series of questions. You doctor may also look for evidence of depression, such as self harm or loss f interest in activities. Once the diagnosis is made, your doctor will discuss your treatment option

11108 Published October 2013

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