Diagnosis of Depression

When deciding whether to give someone a diagnosis of depression, professionals look for the following key symptoms:

  • Loss of interest or pleasure
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Sleep problems
  • Agitation
  • Tiredness and loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

A diagnosis of depression should be given if you experience at least five of these symptoms over a two-week period. However, everybody’s experience of being depressed is different. For example, some people are severely depressed for a relatively short time while others have milder depression over a number of years, and there are other patterns in between. Even if the depression seems mild it is still important, and can have a big impact on someone’s life and ability to enjoy life.

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