Adult Depression

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What is Adult Depression?

Depression is a serious mood disorder. It can affect the way you act, think and feel. Depression is a common problem among adults, affecting an estimated 19.4 million or 7.8% of all US adults per year (2019 estimate). Clinical depression is not a normal part of aging and is not normal daily sadness or “off days”. If one experienced depression as a teenager you may be more likely to have depression as an adult.

The following is a list of common symptoms.

  • Persistent sad or “empty” mood
  • Crying spells
  • Isolating from family or friends, not answering phone calls
  • Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
  • Guilt either about feeling depressed or past events
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities or avoidance of pleasurable activities
  • Decreased energy, fatigue or lethargy
  • Moving or talking very slowly
  • Difficulty focusing, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, especially falling asleep, waking up too early in the morning, or waking in the middle of the night
  • Eating less than usual, often times just no “appetite”
  • Poor attention to cleaning, cooking, bathing one self
  • Thoughts of suicide, death or that life may not be worth living anymore

There are several types of depression that adults may experience:

  • Major Depressive Disorder: includes multiple symptoms as above lasting at least two weeks and interfere with a person’s life
  • Dysthymia: a depressed mood that lasts more than two years, but the person can still function (work, raise children, cook, clean) unlike someone with Major Depressive Disorder
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder: depression due to the use of substances, like alcohol, drugs or pain medication
  • Depressive Disorder Due to A Medical Condition: depression that is secondary to a medical illness, like heart disease, COPD, hypothyroidism or chronic pain.
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Seasonal affective Depression


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