A mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness.
- Changes in sleep, including insomnia or sleeping too much
- Changes in appetite – weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Lack of energy
- Anxiety, agitation, or restlessness
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or self-blame
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
- Thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or suicide
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
The causes of depression include complex interactions between social, psychological, and biological factors. Life events such as childhood adversity, trauma, unemployment are some factors that contribute to and may further the development of depression.
For many people with depression, symptoms may be so severe, that its enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, and relationships with other people. Some also may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Depression symptoms in children and teens
Signs and symptoms of depression in children are mostly like that of depression in adults, however there may be some differences.
In younger children, symptoms of depression may include:
- easily irritable with no apparent reason
- unusual clinginess disproportionate to age
- Excessive worry
- aches and pains without explanation
- refusing to go to, or problems with school
- being over or underweight.
As children grow into teens, it is important to understand that teen years can be difficult at times for every teen and although they may have symptoms of depression, not every symptom is indicative of a larger problem. Only your provider should diagnose your teen, rushing to diagnose and label them as depressive can have its own unintended consequence. Symptoms may include:
- irritability and anger
- feeling negative and worthless,
- poor performance and missing school
- feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive
- eating or sleeping too much, with abnormal weight loss or gain
- loss of interest in normal activities that they once enjoyed
- avoiding social interaction, isolating
Post Partum Depression
Having a baby is a wonderful miracle. This miraculous event can come with many challenges, including challenges and changes within the mother’s body and mind. Sometimes those challenges and changes are overwhelming and paralyzing. You might feel unconnected to your baby, as if you are not the baby’s mother, or you might not love or care for the baby. These feelings can be mild to severe. If you are feeling this way you are not alone, and there is help available. Postpartum depression is a serious mental illness that involves the brain and affects your behavior and physical health. Mothers can also experience anxiety disorders during or after pregnancy. Alabama Psychiatry wants to support you and help you through this difficult time.
Depression symptoms in older adults
Depression is not a normal part of growing older, and it should never be taken lightly. Depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated in older adults, and they may feel reluctant to seek help or even discuss the issue, even with family. Furthermore, there may be fewer people in the lives of older adults and seniors to discuss the matter with, which can exacerbate the matter. Symptoms of depression may be different or less obvious in older adults, and may be inconsistent with age – such as:
- Memory difficulties or personality changes
- Physical aches or pain
- Fatigue, loss of appetite, sleep problems or loss of interest in sex — not caused by a medical condition or medication
- Often wanting to stay at home, rather than going out to socialize or doing new things
- Suicidal thinking or feelings, especially in older men
If you think that you or a loved one may be struggling with depression, we can help. You can request an appointment in the space below.