Depression is one of the most common health conditions in the world. Depression isn't a weakness, nor is it something that you can simply "snap out
of." Depression, formally called major depression, major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a medical illness that involves the mind and body.
It affects how you think and behave and can cause a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may not be able to go about your usual daily
activities, and depression may make you feel as if life just isn't worth living anymore.
Most health professionals today consider depression a chronic illness that requires long-term treatment, much like diabetes or high blood pressure.
Although some people experience only one episode of depression, most have repeated episodes of depression symptoms throughout their life. Effective
diagnosis and treatment can help reduce even severe depression symptoms. And with effective treatment, most people with depression feel better,
often within weeks, and can return to the daily activities they previously enjoyed.
Symptoms of depression often include the following:
- Loss of interest in normal daily activities
- Feeling sad or down
- Feeling hopeless
- Crying spells for no apparent reason
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Unintentional weight gain or loss
- Being easily annoyed
- Feeling fatigued or weak
- Feeling worthless
- Loss of interest in sex
- Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
Depression symptoms can vary greatly because different people experience depression in different ways. A 25-year-old man with depression may not
have the same symptoms as a 70-year-old man, for instance. For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it's obvious something isn't
right. Others may feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why.
Anxiety It's normal to feel anxious from time to time, especially if your life is stressful. However, if you have ongoing anxiety that interferes with
day-to-day activities and relationships and makes it hard to enjoy life, you may have generalized anxiety disorder.
It's possible to develop generalized anxiety disorder as a child or as an adult. Generalized anxiety disorder has similar symptoms as panic disorder,
obsessive-compulsive disorder and other types of anxiety, but they're all different conditions. Living with generalized anxiety disorder can be a long-term
challenge. In many cases, it occurs along with other anxiety or mood disorders. In most cases, generalized anxiety disorder improves with medications
or psychotherapy. Making lifestyle changes, learning coping skills and using relaxation techniques also can help.
Generalized anxiety disorder symptoms can vary in combination and severity. They can include:
- Constant worrying or obsession about small or large concerns
- Restlessness and feeling keyed up or on edge
- Difficulty concentrating or your mind "going blank"
- Muscle tension or muscle aches
- Trembling, feeling twitchy or being easily startled
- Trouble sleeping
- Sweating, nausea or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath or rapid heartbeat
There may be times when your worries don't completely consume you, but you still feel anxious even when there's no apparent reason. For example,
you may feel intense worry about your safety or that of your loved ones, or you may have a general sense that something bad is about to happen.
Generalized anxiety disorder often begins at an early age, and the signs and symptoms may develop more slowly than in other anxiety disorders. Many
people with generalized anxiety disorder can't recall when they last felt relaxed or at ease.
Generalized anxiety disorder is a chronic condition that requires ongoing treatment. Especially with treatment, you may not feel anxious all of the time.
But you're always susceptible to becoming anxious, especially when life becomes stressful. Generalized anxiety disorder usually occurs along with
other mental health conditions, such as other anxiety disorders, substance abuse problems and mood disorders. It commonly co-occurs with major
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The following information is provided by the MayoClinic.com