Depression Symptoms

According to the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), a major depression is marked by a combination of symptoms that occur together, and last for at least two weeks without significant improvement.

 

Symptoms from at least five of the following categories must be present for a major depression, although even a few of the symptom clusters are indicators of a depression, but perhaps not a major depression.


--Persistent depressed, sad, anxious, or empty mood

--Feeling worthless, helpless, or experiencing excessive or inappropriate guilt
--Hopeless about the future, excessive pessimistic feelings
--Loss of interest and pleasure in your usual activities
--Decreased energy and chronic fatigue
--Loss of memory, difficulty making decisions or concentrating
--Irritability or restlessness or agitation
--Sleep disturbances, either difficulty sleeping, or sleeping too much
--Loss of appetite and interest in food, or overeating, with weight gain
--Recurring thoughts of death, or suicidal thoughts or actions
 

Other symptoms that are not necessarily DSM specific criteria include, but are not limited to: work problems such as absenteeism, decreased production, lack of concern about work and accidents at work.

More symptoms to look for are:

 

--decreased need for sleep

--racing thoughts

--grandiose notions

--easily distracted

 

And of course alcohol and drug abuse.  Dr. Nathan S. Kline(1) once remarked that:

 

"The problems of alcoholism and drug addiction have strong links to depression. The search for highs may often begin as a flight from lows."
 

If you think you are depressed, please avoid self-diagnosis and self-medication with questionable and sometimes dangerous 'alternative' solutions.  Consult with your doctor and discuss all possible solutions including alternative answers that have solid documentation.

REFERENCES

(1) Dr. Kline may not be a well-known person to most but, his story is interesting.  Click here to learn more about Dr. Kline.

 

 

 

Exciting News!  A significant study (below) shows that for depressed patients achieving stable or unstable clinical remission, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (meditation) offers protection against relapse/recurrence on a par with that of maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy.

 

Study Title:

Antidepressant Monotherapy vs Sequential Pharmacotherapy and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, or Placebo, for Relapse Prophylaxis in Recurrent Depression

 

Authors:

Zindel V. Segal, PhD; Peter Bieling, PhD; Trevor Young, MD; Glenda MacQueen, MD; Robert Cooke, MD; Lawrence Martin, MD; Richard Bloch, MA; Robert D. Levitan, MD
 

Found in:

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(12):1256-1264. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.168

 

Date of last update: March 9, 2011

Questions or Comments?  devin@depression-hypnosis.com