Symptoms of DepressionEn Español (Spanish Version)
Depression can be devastating to family relationships, friendships, and the ability to work or go to school. Symptoms of depression vary a great deal from person to person. Some people have only a few symptoms, while others have many.
Symptoms can change over time and may include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Loss of interest in sex
- Feeling tired
- Trouble concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Trouble sleeping, waking up too early, or oversleeping
- Eating more or less than usual
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Thoughts of death or suicide (with or without suicide attempts)
- Restlessness, irritability, or anxiety
- Physical symptoms that defy standard diagnosis and do not respond well to medical treatments
Depression often coexists with other medical conditions. The stress of coping with the disease may cause depression. Or depression may be caused by the disease itself or by drugs used to treat the disease. Disorders commonly associated with depression include:
- Heart disease
- Neurological disorders, including:
- Chronic insomnia
- Some forms of cancer, including breast cancer
- Thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism)
- Mental decline (in the elderly)
- Chronic pain
- Mental disorders such as:
American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 4th ed. Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association; 2000.
Depression. National Institute of Mental Health. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/healthinformation/depressionmenu.cfm. Accessed March 24, 2007.
National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/.
Last reviewed April 2007 by Janet Greenhut, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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