Depression

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a persistent depressed mood that results in loss of interest in activities, feelings of sadness and hopelessness, as well as pain, and a shift in appetite.

What are the signs?

  • A loss of interest in activities
  • Feelings of sadness, emptiness, and hopelessness that don’t go away
  • Shifts in sleep patterns, manifested as either insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Unexplained physical pain
  • Lack of energy
  • An increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing, handwringing) or slowed movements or speech (enough that other people observe them)
  • Suicidal ideation

Medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression — so it is important to rule out general medical causes.

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