Depression has become one of the most common disorders in America. In 2017, an estimated 17.3 million adults in the USA experienced at least one major depressive episode (National Institute of Mental Health). Depression can be experienced at any age and by both genders. It can affect both men and women, as well as children and adolescents. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of depression so you can take steps to get better.
What is depression?
Depression is more than a sad mood that lasts for a few days. Depression is a persistent and ongoing feeling of sadness and hopelessness. Depression affects us on four levels — emotionally, cognitively, physically, and socially. Below are some of the signs and symptoms of depression.
Cognitive symptoms of depression:
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating
- Negative or distorted thinking
- Forgetting things
- Memory loss
- Inability to make decisions
- Easily distracted
Emotional symptoms of depression:
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless
- Crying easily or feeling tearful
- Felling guilt-ridden
- Feeling irritable
- Having no motivation or interest in things that used to bring you joy
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Having suicidal thoughts
- Changes in appetite (increasing or decreasing)
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Lack of energy
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Changes in sleeping patterns, finding it difficult to sleep, or waking up too early
Social symptoms of depression:
- Underperforming at work
- Avoiding socializing
- Neglecting interests
- Having difficulties in relationships with friends and family
Treatment options for depression
It is important to understand that depression is among the most treatable disorders. There are many effective options to treat depression. Psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and neurofeedback therapy are all helpful. A recent study has demonstrated neurofeedback therapy was helpful for those suffering from Major Depressive Disorder. The study indicated that neurofeedback therapy also helped with self-esteem in these individuals.
If you have been feeling down and have lost your motivation and interest in life, reach out for help. It is possible to feel better and enjoy life again.