Depression: Signs and Symptoms


Being depressed is a common event that all of us can associate ourselves with. We are all depressed at some point of time and space. But when the symptoms of depression overwhelm us over a prolonged period of time and interfere with our day to day functioning, then we may be suffering from this medical condition called as “depression”. It is caused by a combination of biological, psychological and social factors.

 About 5 in 100 people have some degree of depression every year, but most of us don’t admit it due to the stigma associated with it. Also, there are other people who do not recognize that they are having depression. It is important to recognize and identify depression so that early professional care may be sought.

 Let us take a look at the symptoms of depression.

 Core Symptoms:

1. Persistent sadness or low mood (with or without weepiness).

2. Marked loss of interest or pleasure.

 Other Symptoms:

1. Loss of sleep or increased desire for sleep.

2. Slowing of movements, restlessness or agitation.

3. Unusual appetite pattern: Either loss of appetite and weight loss or comfort eating and weight gain.

4. Excessive & inappropriate guilt and feeling of worthlessness.

5. Loss of energy or fatigue.

6. Difficulty in making decisions (even simple ones), and lack of concentration.

7. Recurrent thoughts of suicide (or suicidal attempt) or death.

 Depression is diagnosed if you have 5 of above 9 symptoms, including at least one of the core symptoms and if such symptoms are not due to any drug abuse or side effect of any drug or underlying medical condition (like under-active thyroid gland), occur most of the time on most days and impair your normal functioning.

 Anyone can have depression, and there is no shame in it. So, if you suspect that you are having an episode of depression or a near one is having such symptoms, do seek professional help for early resolution of the problem.

-Dr.Deepak Kripal