Understanding Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Depression: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

If you’re in a bad mood, it’s easy to say: “I think I’m depressed.” But at what point is someone depressed? Where is the boundary between a depressed mood and an illness that requires treatment? Symptoms of depression should be taken seriously. You can find out what these symptoms are below.

What is depression?

Depression is one of the mental illnesses. In depression, the entire emotional life of the human being, which is called affectivity, is affected. This includes each person’s basic mood and everything that has to do with their feelings: for example, the intensity and duration with which feelings are perceived. Every person is different and has their affectivity.

In the current definition, one speaks of depression if a mood occurs for at least two weeks that deviates from the otherwise everyday basic mood in a depressive way.

There are also affective disorders that are associated with an agitated nature (mania) or that do not progress in phases but are permanent (dysthymia and cyclothymia).


Depression: symptoms and signs

How is depression manifested? The sad mood – the depressive mood – is usually the strongest of the symptoms. There are several other symptoms as well:

  • Depressed people are often unable to feel joy or be interested in anything.
  • They complain about a lack of drive; they cannot pull themselves together to do something, and they lack the energy.
  • At the same time, however, they feel driven and restless ( agitated ).
  • In addition, there are often symptoms of poor concentration and memory disorders. Thinking is rigid: Thoughts that generally come and go quickly develop slowly and painstakingly, and you spend a long time brooding over what are simple facts.
  • In addition, symptoms such as sleep disordersanxiety, loss of appetite, rare abnormal sensations and delusional ideas occur.

How do you recognize depression?

Unlike many illnesses, depression is often the last thing to notice that something is wrong with you. It is usually the case that friends or relatives become suspicious if one is miserable for a long time and the mood does not improve at all.

Knowledge and education about this disease are essential – only if as many people as possible are familiar with the symptoms and treatment options for depression can those affected be addressed at an early stage and be able to benefit from adequate therapy.


Mood or Depression?

If you’re unsure whether your low mood is going beyond temporary depression, talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling. Ask your doctor if you don’t want to bother friends or relatives with this sensitive topic.

An experienced psychologist, neurologist or psychiatrist can use a detailed interview and various tests to take stock of your consciousness and psyche and determine precisely how depressed you are.

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