People often say "I'm depressed" when what they are really experiencing is sadness. Clinical depression is more than just feeling blue or down after a bad day at work or during a difficult period of life.
People who are clinically depressed feel down, sad or hopeless all the time, for weeks on end, and can experience the following symptoms:
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
- Persistent feelings of sadness, worthlessness, guilt
- Appetite loss or overeating
- Restlessness or irritability
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Difficulty thinking clearly, remembering or concentrating well enough to read or watch television
These symptoms can be similar to the experiences associated with grieving the death of a loved one. However, in depression, these feelings arise without such a loss, or they last much longer than the usual cycle of grief.
Depression may occur along with related conditions, such as substance abuse, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or any number of other physical and mental health disorders.