Common Signs of Depression
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 21 million American adults and 4.1 million American adolescents (ages 12-17) have had at least one major depressive episode. Depression is more than just feeling sad or “blue.” It is a serious medical condition that can affect your mood, your behavior, and your thinking. For some people, it can even lead to thoughts of suicide.
Depression is not a sign of personal weakness, and it is important to remember that it is no one’s “fault. Science indicates that depression is often associated with an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that control mood. Other factors may also come into play such as stress, negative life experiences, medical problems, or the use of alcohol and other illicit drugs.
Some common signs of depression include:
- Always feeling sad, anxious, or empty
- Loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy
- Weight gain or weight loss that is not due to dieting
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Restlessness or irritability
- Loss of energy or fatigue
- Feeling worthless, guilty, or hopeless much of the time
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering things or making decisions
- Recent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, help is available. Learn more at www.PennFoundation.org.