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Many people are under the misconception that depression is feeling down in the dumps and that sufferers can just pull themselves out of the rut. In reality, depression is a serious mental health disorder that can be completely debilitating to those affected by the symptoms.

Everyone feels sadness and despair at some point in their lives, however those who suffer from clinical depression have feelings of sadness, worthlessness and guilt for longer than two weeks. With depression, the symptoms affect every aspect of a person’s daily life and interfere with their ability to function normally.

Sadness, in itself, is usually situational and results from an emotionally trying experience, such as loss of a loved one or job. These feelings usually subside in a short amount of time, and are part of the grieving process. However, with clinical depression those feelings sometimes occur for no reason at all, and are persistent.

Depression is a serious condition that usually doesn’t improve without some type of treatment, like antidepressants or counseling. People suffering from depression can’t just snap out of it and usually lose interest in the things that once brought them pleasure. Relationships with other people often become strained because depression causes a person to withdraw and become isolated.

Symptoms of depression affect other aspects of a person’s life, as well. A person with depression might notice changes in their weight. Some people experience significant weight loss or weight gain in a short period of time. Fatigue and lack of motivation to perform daily activities also affect those with depression. This can interfere with their ability to work or get out of bed each day. Changes in sleep patterns are also a sign of depression. People suffering from depression sometimes sleep for excessive periods of time or stay awake for days.

The inability to concentrate is also a symptom of depression that can significantly impact a person’s ability to function. Oftentimes, holding down a job is difficult to those with depression because they can’t seem to focus or lack the motivation it takes to get up and face the world. The ability to concentrate, and make decisions is sometimes impaired when suffering from depression. Depression affects a person’s ability to function on a day to day basis and interferes with major aspects of their life.

Suicidal thoughts, preoccupation with dying, and suicide attempts are some of the darker symptoms of depression. Sometimes people suffering from depression think about committing suicide without a plan to actually do it. Recurrent thoughts about death and dying are also symptoms of depression, as well as actual failed attempts to commit suicide.

Clinical depression is more than just a feeling of sadness and can disrupt every aspect of a person’s life. The symptoms of depression interfere with a person’s relationships and quality of life. Although the symptoms of depression are life altering, treatment with antidepressant medications and/or counseling from McLean Counseling Center can help with an individual’s ability to function on a daily basis.