Clinical depression produces a feeling of profound sadness, despondency or hopelessness. It lasts at least 2 weeks and occurs almost every day. 10% of Americans will have depression.
Causes of Depression
Depression may occur as part of a physical illnesses, in response to hormonal disorders. of as a side effect of some drugs. Depression may develop due to genetic, social or psychological causes. Life crises may frequently lead to severe depression, particularly the death of a family member or a spouse.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms of severe depression include loss of interest in most all activities as well as the inability to enjoy any type of activity. This leads to further social isolation and the feeling of not being needed. Boredom, hopelessness and listlessness develop. Sleep patterns are disturbed, with the development of excessive sleep, hypersomnia, of the inability to sleep, insomnia. Eating disorders occur and are coupled with the development of constipation. The affect is very labile, or fluctuating, with intense guilt feelings over minor events, bouts of crying and irritability. There is loss of interest in sex, poor concentration, and poor decision making. Thoughts of suicide may occur. Somatic complaints, that is symptoms in the body such as headaches and chest pain, may develop without evidence of any disease.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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