The team at Hendricks Behavioral Hospital provides both inpatient care and intensive outpatient programs focused on depression. It’s our mission to help individuals living with this condition feel empowered and in more control of their lives.
What Is Depression
Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability for Americans between 14 and 44.3 years old—it’s far more common than many people realize. While several different types of depression exist—which can manifest during specific circumstances (e.g., postpartum, seasonal) or specific ages (e.g., teen depression)—the main feature of depression is a collection of signs and symptoms which negatively impact the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves.
Depression Signs and Symptoms
No two people with depression will present in the same way, but there are common signs and symptoms to be aware of:
- Persistent feeling of emptiness, hopelessness, despair, or sadness
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and helplessness
- Irritability and restlessness
- Decreased interest in previously pleasurable activities or hobbies
- Decreased energy and libido
- Sleep and appetite disturbances (e.g., waking up and not being able to fall back asleep; eating or sleeping too much/too little)
- Weight loss or gain
- Impaired memory, decision-making, and attention
- Thoughts of suicide and death, suicide attempts
- Slowed speech and/or movement
- Physical symptoms (e.g., back pain or digestive issues) with no obvious physical cause
The exact cause of depression isn’t always known, but genes, life experience, and some illnesses or medications are all thought to be contributing factors. To have an official diagnosis of major depressive disorder, other conditions (both mental and physical) must be ruled out, and symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks.