It's okay to feel sad after a bad day at work or a breakup but sometimes this feeling of intense sadness can persist for six months or longer. In that case, you may be suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), which is much more complicated than ordinary feelings of sadness and requires professional intervention by a psychiatrist.
Know the warning signs of MDD, also called Clinical Depression for timely intervention and management of this disturbing mental illness:
Hopelessness about everything in life is one of the determining characteristics of MDD. Sufferers experience feelings of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt or worthlessness. They often blame themselves and brood about the pointlessness of living life.
Weight & appetite changes
This symptom may affect each person differently. While some may eat more (not intentionally) and gain weight suddenly, others may do just the opposite and keep losing more and more weight becoming weak and pale.
Loss of interest
Another telltale sign of MDD is sudden loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyable such as sports, hobbies or sex. The sufferer withdraws and stops participating in activities he or she used to like engaging in previously.
Irritability in men
Men are affected by clinical depression differently in that they may experience symptoms like irritability, escapism or risky behavior, substance abuse or misplaced anger.
Fatigue & sleep problems
An overwhelming feeling of fatigue is another debilitating symptom of MDD. Excessive tiredness leads to excessive sleeping which in turn can lead to insomnia. It is really a vicious circle.
The first step in treating MDD is recognising and accepting that you have it and seeking professional help immediately. Untreated depression can lead to you and your loved one harboring suicidal tendencies and acting on them so don't delay. Seek help today.
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