Signs and Symptoms

Periods of acute sadness are often confused with clinical depression, but the two differ greatly. Depression is a mood disorder in which negative, sad, or frustrated feelings affect daily activities and interfere with your normal lifestyle for an extended period of time, lasting for several weeks or more.

The initial cause of this disorder is unknown, but research shows links between depression and chemical changes in the brain. Genes and specific stressful circumstances may also trigger this imbalance. Someone diagnosed with clinical depression may exhibit a number of symptoms, with some as vague as a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities. Not knowing their root cause can exacerbate these symptoms, leading in a downward spiral.

Treatment can include a combination of medications, such as antidepressants, and talk therapy, focusing on problem solving, relationships and unhealthy patterns.

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