According to the definitions of most medical, psychological and psychiatric bodies, there is a commonality in the diagnosis of depression. Most depression tests have a very similar framework. Almost without exception, clinical depression will be diagnosed if a certain number of feelings, that are signs of depression, are present over a certain period of time.
Current theory suggests those clinical depression results from complex interactions between brain chemicals and hormones that influence a person's energy level, feelings, sleeping and eating habits. These chemical interactions are linked to many complex causes--a person's family history of illness, biochemical and psychological make-up, prolonged stress, and traumatic life crisis such as death of a loved one, job loss, or divorce. Following are some of the common symptoms of clinical depression:
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gains.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day.
- Exhaustion on waking
- Disrupted sleep, sometimes through upsetting dreams
- Early morning waking and difficulty getting back to sleep
- Doing less of what they used to enjoy
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Improved energy as the day goes on
- Anxious worrying and intrusive upsetting thoughts
- Becoming emotional or upset for no particular reason
- Shortness of temper, or irritability
- Restlessness or decreased activity noticed by others
- Thoughts of suicide or death
- Teenagers may show depression by taking more risks and/or showing less concern for their own safety.
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