Depression commonly manifests physically, through fatigue, difficulty in concentrating, headaches, disrupted or excessive sleep, motor control difficulty, loss of enjoyment, decreased sex drive, or an increased use of various coping mechanisms. While the causes of depression are unknown, a predisposition for it runs in families and it can be triggered by trauma and adverse life circumstances.
Women tend to suffer higher rates of depression after giving birth and the rates are higher for both men and women in late fall. Some people abuse alcohol or drugs or overeat as a way of coping, causing them to develop other medical problems. Depressed people are also at increased risk for self-harm.
Depression is a mental illness which is characterized by prolonged emotional symptoms including:
Diagnosing depression involves a psychiatric evaluation and physical tests to determine whether a person’s symptoms are actually being caused by a different disorder. A person must have been experiencing symptoms for at least two weeks to be diagnosed with depression. Diagnosis must be made by an appropriate professional, such as a Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist, or Psychologist. Every case is unique and requires individual attention, but there are a number of effective complementary ways of treating depression, including:
- Talk therapy
- Adopting a healthier lifestyle