Understanding Depression. What To Look For

Understanding Depression. What To Look For

Am I depressed? This is a question I know many people are familiar with. Many of us have wondered, at times when we were feeling weak or small, whether we are depressed. Even psychiatrists have been known to wrestle with feelings of depression. However, this is all 100% normal.

It’s absolutely ok to feel sad or “down and out” from time to time, especially if you are dealing with tough circumstances in your professional or private life. Clinical depression is much more serious and it is important that people understand the difference.

Everyone gets depressed from time to time, and there are many recognized symptoms of depression. In fact, depression is the leading cause of disability in the United States among people ages 15-44 (Source).The symptoms of depression that you should be on the look out for include:

  • Feeling sad, blue or melancholy
  • Losing interest or pleasure in something that was once enjoyed
  • Gaining or losing weight that isn’t related to dieting
  • Having difficulties in sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Feeling more fatigued and having less energy
  • Increase in unnecessary physical activities, such as pacing or being unable to sit still
  • Having feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Finding it difficult to think, concentrate or make decisions
  • Having suicidal thoughts or ideations

However, even if a person were to feel that they are experiencing all of these symptoms, that does not mean they are suffering from clinical depression. In order for an experienced psychiatrist to diagnose a patient with depression, the symptoms must continue for at least two weeks and must demonstrate a change in the level of functioning of the patient.

What to do if I have been feeling depressed for over 2 weeks?

If you have been feeling depressed for more than 2 weeks, it is probably time for you to seek help. A qualified mental health provider, such as a psychiatrist, will be able to accurately diagnose your depression and provide a plan of treatment that is designed to help you feel like you again. 

If you have been experiencing depression, feeling blue, or unhappy with your life for a prolonged period, contact the mental health providers at Stedfast Psychiatry. We help patients suffering with depression at our Boynton Beach Office, Palm Beach Gardens Office, and also offer telemedicine appointments for each of our providers. To book your appointment or to get answers to any questions you may have, please call our office at (561) 252-8773.

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