Sunday, 11 November 2012

How Do You Know If You Suffer From Depression?

Depression is an illness that affects the whole body. It changes the way we eat, sleep, communicate and go about our daily business. Depression is also an illness that many people have a problem acknowledging. Some people see it as a lack or willpower, personal weakness or laziness, but this is simply not the case. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain and one that can be diagnosed, treated and overcome, but first the patient has to recognize the problem. So how does an individual know if they suffer from depression? 

Behavioral changes

The changes in your behavior will be reflective of the negative emotions you are experiencing. Feeling uncomfortable in social situations is a common problem, you may have no desire to interact and therefore spend more time alone and isolated. There may also be a dramatic change in your eating habits: either eating much more or much less. A loss of sexual appetite is also common and related to anxiety in social and personal situations. Neglect of personal appearance and hygiene may occur as well as neglect of the cleanliness of your home. Because depression manifests in a lack of productivity, it is not uncommon for household duties to suffer as a result. 

Changes in thoughts

If you work or are at school, you may find that it is harder to concentrate and make decisions. Many sufferers of depression report difficulty processing information and problems with their short-term memory. Being overly critical of your work and your ability, and having excessive guilt are also common symptoms. In the extreme, a person may have self-destructive thoughts 

Changes in physicality

Negative emotions have direct influence on the body. A person suffering from depression may suffer from chronic fatigue, even if they are sleeping much more than usual. Insomnia is also a common symptom. The inability to turn off your thoughts results in a person laying awake for hours, unable to sleep but also unable to do anything about it. Some sufferers find that they are sleeping much more than usual, sometimes spending the majority of the day in bed, but still feel exhausted. Back pain, body aches and intense headaches are also common as is a dramatic change in diet. 

Treating the problem

If you feel that you may be suffering from depression, it is vitally important that you talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor will not be able to tell that you are suffering form depression simply by looking at you. Many people feel that treatment will be pointless with their condition, but treatment is usually very effective and can help alleviate the condition.

There are a number of treatments that can help you, from counseling to medication. For mild to moderate depression, counseling can be a very good method of treatment. Psychotherapy will involve a discussion with a trained counselor about your situation. This may involve talking about your beliefs, your past, and your relationships. Everything you talk to the counselor about will of course be held in the strictest confidence.

About The Author:A summa cum laude graduate of the Southern California University of Health Sciences (chiropractic), Dr. Alan Weidner writes on a wide range of health topics, from massage chairs to nutrition to home therapy. For more articles from Dr. Weidner, for your own website, visit

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