Depression and Psychiatric disorders

Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being. A depressed mood is a normal temporary reaction to life events such as loss of a loved one. It is also a symptom of some physical diseases and a side effect of some drugs and medical treatments. Depressed mood is also a symptom of some mood disorders such as major depressive disorder and dysthymia.

What Are the Symptoms of Depression?

They include feeling several of the following for at least 2 weeks:

  • Feeling sad, anxious, or empty
  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
  • Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
  • Not enjoying things you used to enjoy
  • Trouble with concentration, memory, or making decisions
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Appetite changes
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

You might not have all of these. Doctors call it "major depression" if you have at least 5 of these symptoms for at least 2 weeks. People with major depression might also have other physical symptoms, such as pain or other illnesses that get worse, stomachaches, headaches, or digestive problems.

In kids and teens, the symptoms may include:

  • Insomnia, fatigue, headache, stomachache, dizziness
  • Apathy, social withdrawal, unintended weight loss
  • Drug abuse or alcohol abuse, a drop in school performance, trouble concentrating
  • Isolation from family and friends

Depression can range from mild to severe. Doctors used to call the milder forms “dysthymia” if it lasted for at least 2 years in adults (1 year in children and teens). Now, it’s called "persistent depressive disorder."

Everyone feels sad or blue now and then. Those are normal emotions. Depression is different. If it lasts more than 2 weeks and doesn’t lift, or if you start to notice other physical symptoms such as changes in sleep, appetite, or energy, seek help.

Call Your Doctor For Professional Consultation If:

  • You or a loved one has suicidal thoughts.
  • You think you or a loved one is depressed. There are effective treatments.