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Although the term “depression” is used often to describe how one feels on an “off” day, clinical depression is quite devastating. Depression is a medical diagnosis which should be approached like any other medical condition or illness. Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
Depression may require long-term treatment. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both. It’s not known exactly what causes depression. As with many medical conditions, a variety of factors may be involved, such as brain chemistry, biological differences, hormones and inherited traits.
Although depression may occur only once during a lifetime, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms occur most of the day, nearly every day and may include:
For many people with depression, symptoms usually are severe enough to cause noticeable problems in day-to-day activities, such as work, school, social activities or relationships with others.
Depression symptoms in children and teens
Common signs and symptoms of depression in children and teenagers are similar to those of adults, but there can be some differences.
In younger children, symptoms of depression may include sadness, irritability, clinginess, worry, aches and pains, refusing to go to school, or being underweight.
In teens, symptoms may include sadness, irritability, feeling negative and worthless, anger, poor performance or poor attendance at school, feeling misunderstood and extremely sensitive, using recreational drugs or alcohol, eating or sleeping too much, self-harm, loss of interest in normal activities, and avoidance of social interaction.
Depression symptoms in older adults
Symptoms of depression may be different or less obvious in older adults, such as memory difficulties, personality changes, fatigue, sleep problems, physical aches, appetite changes and suicidal thoughts.
When to see you doctor
Depression is a serious medical disorder that can take a terrible toll on you and your family. Depression often gets worse if it is not treated, resulting in emotional, behavioral and health problems that affect every area of your life. If you feel depressed, make an appointment to see your doctor or mental health professional as soon as possible. If you have suicidal thoughts or behaviors —seek emergency treatment immediately. Call 911 and/or the suicide prevention hotline at 1- 800-273-8255.
Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. However, people with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations Anxiety has an impact on one’s ability to focus or go about one’s day. There are a variety of anxiety disorders – all of which are considered medical diagnosis. To debunk the often held myth—“it is not just in your head” – and like other medical conditions – should be evaluated by Feelings of anxiety or panic interfere with daily activities, are difficult to control, are out of proportion to the actual danger and can last a long time.
Common signs and symptoms include
Life experiences such as traumatic events appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety. Inherited traits also can be a factor. For some people, anxiety may be linked to another underlying health issue. In some cases, anxiety signs and symptoms are the first indicators of a medical illness. If your doctor suspects your anxiety may have a medical cause, he or she may order tests to look for signs of a problem.
A Few Types of Anxiety Disorders
If you feel like you are depressed; you’re worrying too much and it’s interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life; your worry or anxiety is difficult to control; see your healthcare provider. Book your appointment online to schedule a visit with a CareMount Medical primary care provider.