When depression strikes, a person will not only feel down, it may affect his ability to function normally in society, and in some extreme cases, it provokes the person to commit suicide. Being the most common mental disorder in the United States, depression affects over 17 million Americans each year ("Understanding Depression"). With these, depression is obviously a serious condition that should on no account be ignored.
In identifying depression, certain factors such as gender, age, and culture should be taken into account. The manifestations of depression in different people are likely to vary in accordance with the aforementioned factors (Smith, R. Segal, and J. Segal). For instance, an elderly man would most probably exhibit different signs and symptoms of depression from a teenage girl. However, there are common signs and symptoms that we can watch out for. These signs and symptoms can be categorized into those involving the person's mood, his thinking, his behavior and physical manifestations ("Depression - Types, Causes and Symptoms"). Symptoms that involve the person's mood include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, numbness, emptiness, anxiousness, and guilt. People who are depressed find it hard to enjoy and feel good about things that they used to do normally ("Depression - Types, Causes and Symptoms").
People suffering from depression also find it difficult to think clearly and they have poor concentration and memory ("Depression - Types, Causes and Symptoms"). In some cases, as earlier mentioned, depressed people have suicidal thoughts and some actually attempt to kill themselves.