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How to Recognize the Signs of Depression



“What I had begun to discover is that, mysteriously…the grey drizzle of horror induced by depression takes on the quality of physical pain,” so wrote author William Styron in his 1990 memoir, “Darkness Visible,” of his own experiences with depression. It’s a sentiment that might resonate with many men and women who have suffered from depression, and the negative impact it had on their lives.

Depression is a mood disorder that can greatly compromise a person’s well-being, affecting overall quality of life.

Common warning signs of depression:

· Feeling persistently sad

· Loss of interest in activities

· Feelings of worthlessness

· Disturbances in sleep and appetite

· Tiredness and lack of energy

· Unable to focus/concentrate

· Unable to perform daily activities

· In severe cases, having thoughts of suicide or “not wanting to live anymore”

Signs of depression may differ at certain stages of life. In children, for instance, there may be signs of sadness, irritability, clinginess, aches and pains, refusal to go to school. Teenagers may display sadness, irritability, anger, poor performance at school, drug or alcohol use, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.

In older adults, memory difficulties or personality changes, physical aches or pains, fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems, social avoidance and suicidal thinking or feelings, especially in older men, are signals that the person may be in a depression.

Fortunately, for people with depression, there is a professional support system in place to help them break free of this debilitating condition using various kinds of psychotherapy and/or medications.

At the office of Dr. Joseph N. O’Donnell, we understand the emotional pain depression can bring. That’s why we will work with you as an individual — customizing treatments and providing compassionate care to help target the causes of your depression, and develop strategies to overcome them. For more information, give us a call today.

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