Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Oh, it's a blast, let me tell you. Fuck you Pfizer

Everyone can go through times of feeling down or grieving for a while after having suffered a loss.

But for people with the medical condition called depression, feeling very sad or having no interest in activities can go on for a long time. Sometimes, this happens for no apparent reason to people whose lives are going well:

A life-long tennis player finds she doesn't want to play anymore, and feels restless and unable to concentrate much of the time

A busy young man feels "blue" for weeks, can't sleep, and loses weight even though he is not ill or dieting

And sometimes, depression can be brought on by a major life event:

Months after losing her job, a woman still feels "blah" and has no interest in looking for a new job

A year after her mother's death, a woman still feels sad, and thinks about suicide sometimes

More people suffer from depression than you might think. Depression strikes people of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnic groups. It is estimated that about 20 million adults in the U.S. suffer from depression each year, and that up to 25% of all women and up to 12% of all men in the U.S. will experience an episode of major depression some time in their lives. About 1 out of 6 American adults have depression during their lifetimes.

Depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. It is a medical condition.

back to top

Depression is a common medical condition with very specific symptoms. The symptoms of depression, as with any other illness, may differ from person to person. Not everyone will have all the same symptoms.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression

The term depression refers to:

a persistent sad mood and/or
loss of interest or pleasure in most activities

And is accompanied by some of the following symptoms:

Changes in appetite or weight
Changes in sleep patterns
Restlessness or decreased activity that is noticeable to others
Loss of energy or feeling tired all the time
Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
Feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

For a doctor to make a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms must have lasted at least 2 weeks, and be troublesome enough to cause a person distress or interfere with work, social life, or daily functioning. You should see your doctor to find out the possible cause of these symptoms.

Sometimes, in addition to the symptoms of depression, many depressed people may also complain of physical problems. For example, someone might have chronic aches and pains that just can't be explained, such as persistent headaches, backaches, or stomachaches. Depressed people may also experience digestive problems such as dry mouth, nausea, constipation, and, less commonly, diarrhea. Being constantly worried, anxious, or irritable are also possible hidden signs of depression.


Post a Comment

<< Home