Depression is often misunderstood as just feeling sad. But it’s a complex condition, and the facts about depression, depression symptoms, and depression management might surprise you.
What Is Depression?
Doctors diagnose major depression (also called major depressive disorder) based on criteria in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, or DSM-V. A depression diagnosis is made when at least five of the following symptoms occur nearly every day for at least two weeks:
- Depressed mood
- Loss of pleasure in all or most activities
- Significant weight change or change in appetite
- Change in sleep
- Change in activity
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Diminished concentration
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
In order to diagnose major depression, either depressed mood or loss of pleasure in activities must be one of the symptoms.
12 Things You Might Not Know About Depression
While the definition of major depression may seem simple enough, depression has profound and varying impacts. Here are some surprising facts:
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