Jennifer Lanier Payne, director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center and associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University, says people with major depressive disorder can experience a variety of symptoms, including low mood, an irritable mood, poor concentration, low energy, difficulty sleeping, and negative thought patterns.
When your mood is low, you might feel depression as an emotion — but diagnosis requires feeling depressed for a longer period of time. “It’s someone being persistently in a sad mood all day nearly every day for a span of two weeks or more,” says Valentine. “It’s about the persistence of the symptoms.
She tells Allure that people with depression experience a depressed mood for most of the day nearly every day, along with diminished interest or pleasure in things someone used to enjoy. “Most primary care providers are using these two items at least to screen,” she says.
Lanier Payne says suicidal ideation is another way to distinguish clinical depression from depression that’s more situational. “Anytime someone is having suicidal thoughts or really significant impairment, it’s more than situational depression,” she says.
While it’s normal for people to feel sad from time to time, clinical depression is distinguished by persistence in symptoms that interfere with their lives.
Some people with depression might have symptoms like appetite changes, decreased energy or fatigue, including oversleeping (other people experience difficulty sleeping, in spite of fatigue).
But for more general information about symptoms and treatment of clinical depression, we spoke to two mental health providers.
To diagnose depression, a doctor — whether a mental health or primary care provider — will conduct structured, clinical interviews or have a patient take self-report inventories.
How to know when to reach out for help. https://t.co/dKQVfGjqEx— Allure (@Allure_magazine) February 26, 2020
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