Mental health is one of the areas of medical research where recent brain scans and other technological advancements have made some break-though findings that will move the field forward with a new trajectory and speed. In additional current open source programming languages like Python & machine learning libraries like Scikit-Learn create an entire community of scientists and research enthusiasts that can do miracles with data that is currently available after the last decade of electronic gathering of information. The best is yet to come. We will likely see some new developments in this field that will provide with insights we never had in mental health research and we are certainly looking forward to it!
Everyone has days and even weeks where they experience signs of depression. We all feel blue, for short stretches of time. It can hit after a breakup, loss of a loved one, losing a job, or even an increase in the normal daily stresses we all feel. These feelings tend to go away on their own, or with the support of friends and enjoyable activities that help you rise above the negative feelings you've been experiencing.
If these signs of depression persist, however, it is important to pay attention to what you are feeling, especially if you seem to be developing full blown clinical depression. The sooner you can start dealing with whatever you are going through, the sooner you can return to enjoying a full, satisfying life. Sometimes a change in daily routine can be enough to pull you out of your funk; sometimes a person needs a deeper solution, like psychotherapy or medication.
It is important to differentiate between feeling depressed and suffering from clinical depression. Feeling depressed is a common experience for most of us - we all suffer stresses on an almost daily basis that range from the mundane (misplacing car keys) to the serious (being diagnosed with high cholesterol).
The important thing about these particular feelings is that they are temporary, and often disappear before whatever has caused the feelings has been resolved itself. We might need to spend a few months getting our diet undetr control to lower cholesterol, but the initial anxiety and depression tends to wear off much sooner than that.
Signs of depression
There are a variety of symptoms of depression. Naturally, you will not experience all of them, but they can be regarded as quite characteristic. You will generally be feeling helpless and hopeless, having a bleak outlook on your life and your future in general, feeling that nothing can ever possibly get better. You can also experience changes in your sleep pattern, insomnia, or hypersomnia, not being able to sleep at all, or oversleeping, and as a result, feeling fatigued all day. You can be irritated, easily annoyed or angered, even over small matters.
As a further sign of depression, you can experience significant weight loss or gain. Having a bleak outlook on life, you will generally not enjoy even your favorite activities and pastimes or sex for example. In more severe cases, one who is suffering from depression may also have suicidal thoughts as an important sign of depression. You will also have concentration problems, as a result of your feeling fatigued and of course your general loss of interest, you will not be able to focus on the task you are doing and will tend to forget things.
Risk Factors Of Depression
To be able to recognize the signs of depression as soon as possible, it is also important to be aware of some risk factors for depression. Factors, such as loneliness, financial problems, and lack of social support, health problems and persisting physical pain or relationship problems can easily trigger depression.
Someone who has suffered physical abuse as a child or some other childhood trauma, or those with a family history of depression are also at more serious risk of suffering from the signs of depression and being diagnosed with the illness itself.