Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed disorders and yet it often remains untreated for some time. At its core, depression involves significant loss of pleasure in normally enjoyed activities. An individual may also experience depressed/sad mood, however, many persons with major depression do not feel predominantly depressed. In addtion, individuals may experience either an increase or a decrease in their appetite. Similarly, there can be a change in sleeping patterns, weight loss and diminished energy level. Walking, talking, thinking and response time can all be slowed down. Individuals may find it difficult to engage in basic activities throughout the day and mornings are typically more difficult. Additionally, it is common for persons to experience a sense of hopelessness, worthlesness and guilt. As a result, thoughts of suicide are not uncommon. Concentration may become impaired and they may feel overwhelmed by basic tasks. Restlesness and agitation may also be experienced. In general, it is important to compare an individual’s level of functioning to what is typical for him/her.
This disorder can occur at any time during one’s lifespan, including childhood and adolescence.
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