Just like many other psychological term, “depression” is also misused in daily talks. While the word “depressed” is used to describe a temporary mood swing through the day, in reality, depression is a lot more than a temporary state of low mood.
The medical definition of depression is “a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being”. While the causes differ in every patient, many people show similar symptoms. In order to be able to diagnose a patient with depression the following symptoms should be seen for at least to weeks.
- Feeling sad, anxious, or empty
- Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
- Feeling guilty, worthless, or helpless
- Not enjoying life
- Trouble with concentration, memory, or making decisions
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Appetite changes
- Gaining or losing weight
- Feeling restless or irritable
- Thoughts of suicide or death
In short, depression isn’t an issue that can neither be underestimated nor be ignored. As it closely affects a person’s mental and physical wellbeing, it is a case that the should be taken seriously and be treated with therapy and medication.
I hope the magnitude of depression can be clearly understood in the following years, and our society’s narrow perspective on psychology can be widened.
“Depression Center: Symptoms, Causes, Medications, and Therapies.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 16 May 2017.