Depression is a condition characterized by the following elements according to the DSM-IV-TR (p. 356) manual.
1. Depressed Mood
2. Loss of interest or pleasure
A depressed mood often includes feeling sad, helpless, and hopeless. People usually feel depressed at some point in their life but in clinical depression, this feeling of sadness persists for long periods of time. Depressed mood could also include the feeling of anger, fear, anxiety, despair, guilt, apathy, and/or grief. Other symptoms and indicators of depression are the following.
void of emotions, disorganized, feeling like no one understands, boredom, fear, desire to be taken care of, paranoia, irrational fears, easily frustrated, hair becomes wiry, eczema, having trouble getting dressed or choosing clothes, feelings of regret for past decisions, inability to function, difficulty concentrating, withdrawal, inactivity, slow speech, walking slow, irritability, confusion, crying easily, inability to enjoy things, insecurity, anxiety, sore shoulders and neck, low back pain, low libido, binge eating junk food, inability to show affection, .
Prolonged depressed mood is harmful to the body because this usually leads to decreased appetite, restlesness (difficulty in getting sleep), elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol and a weakend immune system. Depression also interferes with the proper functions of the human brain and it could lead to a host of several disease.
Last update: January 16, 2009