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Transient feelings of unhappiness and periods of sadness associated with disruptive life events -- such as financial problems or death of a loved one -- are common for most people. However,, a pervasive feeling of sadness lasting for weeks, months, or even years is a sign of depression. The symptoms of depression include feeling sad and blue, not enjoying activities once found pleasurable, having difficulty doing things that used to be easy to do, restlessness, fatigue, changes in sleep, appetite or weight, inability to make decisions, feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Symptoms of depression

What's the difference between the blues and clinical depression?

Feeling downhearted and sad is often a normal reaction to a life situation. All of us feel this way sometimes, but in a few days, perhaps after talking to a good friend, we start to feel ourselves again. Clinical depression is very different. Clinical depression is an illness, and it requires specific treatment.

Unlike the blues, clinical depression persists and doesn’t go away no matter how hard the individual wants it to. Clinical depression is not a weakness. It is an illness and can last for months or years if left untreated. The most serious and tragic consequence of clinical depression is suicide.

Recently, research produced as a result of the last several National Depression Screening Days has revealed that some people may experience depression without necessarily suffering from significant or very troublesome changes in sleep and appetite. This is an intriguing finding because changes in sleep and appetite are usually considered to be hallmarks of depression.

Instead, the five most common symptoms in people being screened for depression during the past several National Depression Screening Days were:

National Depression Screening Day is currently working to educate the public and health professionals about this new information. Individuals who are experiencing these symptoms should ask their doctor about clinical depression.


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