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It is normal for people to have occasional periods in which they feel sad. However, depression refers to more than just “feeling blue” or a sad mood. Depression occurs over a period of time (at least two weeks) and significantly interferes with your ability to function on a day-to-day basis.
What are symptoms of depression?
- Feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Sleep disturbances (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, sleeping too much)
- A lack of interest in activities that you used to enjoy
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Fatigue or low energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in appetite (eating less than usual, eating more than usual)
- Thoughts of suicide
What causes depression?
Depression may be the result of biological, genetic, and/or psychological factors. Sometimes people experience a “triggering event” that results in depression –family conflict, relationship break-up, academic difficulties, etc.
What are treatment options for depression?
Treatment for depression may include counseling, medication, and/or lifestyle changes (e.g., increasing social support, exercising, eating healthy) depending upon the severity of symptoms and individual preferences.