• Paul Radkowski

Depression Overview

As is the case with many mental health conditions, not all people develop the main symptoms and even serious cases may go unnoticed for lengths of time. In some cases, the severity degree of the symptoms varies although the overall score is similar. Symptoms of depression can be divided into age groups, gender, or in combination with other illnesses such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, or attention deficit disorders (ADD).

In adults, the most commonly met symptoms are those presented below:

  • Persistent sadness or feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, and/or guilt

  • Fatigue accompanied by lack of interest

  • Irritability, worry, anxiousness

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Physical pains of different intensities

  • Eating or sexual behavior disorders

  • Sleep and biological patterns interrupted

​.What is a depressive disorder?.

Depression is no more an illness of those with too much time to think about how they feel but a disorder of today’s busy, anxious, and tense person. It is characterized by patterns of sadness and feelings of demoralization caused by life events. Current estimates are that 121 million people, worldwide, struggle with depression.

This is one of the most frequently diagnosed mental illnesses nowadays. It accounts for both major depression and dysthymia. There are many symptoms of depression, varying in degree and frequency. The more you experience, the more serious your condition might be.

Many of the people affected struggle with mood alteration, low lifestyle quality, and sleep troubles, all the way to suicidal thoughts. Depression is not just a temporary “feeling down or hopeless” state, but a serious disorder that can affect all your life if left untreated.

The exact cause is yet to be discovered, but most cases point towards a hereditary predisposition towards mood disorders, biological imbalances in neurotransmitter levels, and psychosocial environmental factors.

Depression disorder symptoms

  • Low mood

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Low self-esteem

  • Sleep disorders

  • Feelings of worthlessness

  • Increased or decreased appetite

  • Restlessness, irritability

  • Lack of concentration

  • Fatigue, exhaustion

  • Loss of interest

  • Anxiety and guilt feelings

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

As with most mental illnesses, a diagnosis is made by a psychologist or psychiatrist through an assessment that encompasses symptoms, history, any form of treatment, and, in some cases, alternative physical examinations to rule out other conditions that might influence the described symptoms.

Once diagnosed, this disorder can be approached through psychotherapy and medication. In many cases, both of these actions being followed in parallel. Psychotherapy is mostly individual, but can also be group counselling, while medication is mainly antidepressants such as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors).