Even in the spring, when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, you can feel a little less than sunny. You can even feel depressed.
Usually, these feelings improve and you feel better. But if your sadness continues for two weeks or more and affects other areas of your life, you could be depressed.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is a mood disorder that impacts how you think and feel. You could be depressed if you experience signs such as:
- Feeling sad, hopeless, anxious, or empty
- Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy
- Problems with concentration, memory, or decision making
- Changes in sleeping and eating habits
- Aches, pains, headaches, or digestive issues
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression is serious. Seek help if you think you might be depressed. Visit your doctor or a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.
Depression is treated with therapy, medications, or both. Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant if you have mild to moderate depression. This medication works by changing how your brain uses certain mood-related chemicals.
It can take two to four weeks for antidepressants to work. They can cause side effects such as:
- Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- Dry mouth
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction
If you start taking an antidepressant, don’t stop taking it on your own even if you’re feeling better. Doing so can cause depression to return as well as withdrawal symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the right time to stop your medicine and how to safely do so.
With help from health care professionals, you can beat depression and return to brighter days.