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.
Everyone's behavior is very much affected by the way they think and feel. A depressed person's behavior changes with his thoughts and emotions. Among the symptoms involving behavior are the significant lack of energy and motivation, loss of interest in things that one usually enjoys, and excessive crying ("Depression - Types, Causes and Symptoms"). A depressed person's behavior towards the people around him is also affected by his condition. Depression often causes a person to withdraw from his friends and family or be overly dependent on them ("Depression - Types, Causes and Symptoms").
Depression also involves physical symptoms. People who are depressed tend lose appetite or overeat, have headaches or stomach aches, and find it difficult to sleep or else oversleep ("Depression - Types, Causes and Symptoms"). As an effect, their physical health deteriorates and they begin to lose their ability to function well in society.
There are times when the above symptoms are exhibited by a person regularly short periods of time, or they can be persistent and long-lasting. This all depends on what type of depression a person is suffering from. There are several types of depressive disorders and the duration of depression for each type varies. Major depression involves a depressive episode that lasts for around six months (Smith, R. Segal, and J. Segal). Throughout this entire six months, the person feels depressed the almost all the time. Atypical depression is a subtype of major