mental illness

Identifying Signs of Depression and How To Overcome

by CapCareAdmin on August 31, 2015

Mood disorders rank among the top 10 causes of worldwide disability, and Major Depression steals the first spot on the list. What’s more, depression is the leading cause of diminished productivity and absenteeism in the workplace.

Signs of depression may differ from one individual to another. While one depressed person may experience feelings of irritation, anger, and discouragement, another may feel hopeless, sadness, and helplessness. Furthermore, depressive symptoms may cause changes an individual’s personality. For example, a patient might start to lose his or her temper about matters that would normally not concern him or her.

Listed below are signs of depression as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR).

An individual is diagnosed with major depressive disorder (MDD) after they experience five or more of the following symptoms almost every day for the same two-week period, and at least one of the symptoms must be depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure:

  • Lack of energy and fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping
  • A dramatic change in appetite resulting in a 5% change in weight (gain or loss) in a month
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and guilt
  • Inability to concentrate, think clearly, or make decisions
  • Agitation, restlessness, and irritability
  • Inactivity and withdrawal from typical pleasurable activities
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Individuals with severe depression may experience psychotic symptoms, such as delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are strongly held false beliefs that lead an individual to misinterpret relationships and events.

Delusions vary greatly in their themes and may include:

  • Persecutory: believing someone is following you or spying on you
  • Somatic: believing a body part has been injured or altered
  • Erotomaniac: believing that another individual, usually one of higher status, is in love with you
  • Grandiose: Believing that you have special powers, talents, or that you are famous
  • Referential: believing a movie or song lyrics contain special messages only for you
  • Religious: False believes regarding spiritual or religious content

Hallucinations are experiences involving the sensation of something that appears to be real to the patient although these sensations are not caused by real things in the environment. Hallucinations may be extremely convincing as well as disturbing to the patient.

Different themes related to hallucinations may include:

  • Auditory: (the most common form) involving hearing voices of individuals who are not actually present.
  • The sensory realm: sound, sight, smell, taste, and touch

Do not lose hope! Numerous treatments can relieve individuals of depression. Treatments may include cognitive based therapy, psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, group and family therapy, medications, non-pharmacological treatment, and much more. The type of treatment depends on what works best with the individual.

Thousands of individuals have overcome depression and now lead happy and healthy lives. Capitol Care’s many behavioral and mental health programs are designed to treat depression and have proven to be highly effective. Do not face this difficult problem on your own.

Disability and suffering is not limited to the individual diagnosed with Depression. Family and friends of individuals suffering from major depression often experience anger, guilt, frustration, and financial hardship.

Signs of depression may vary greatly and it is crucial to seek help from your doctor or mental health provider if you have been experiencing any of the symptoms described above.

To learn more, or if you or a loved one are seeking help for any mental health illness, contact Capitol Care at their New Jersey department of mental health. We are confident that our treatments will continue to give hope and relief to individuals and families affected by depression.



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