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Depression is a common but serious mood disorder that can interfere with your daily activities. Depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. The truth is that most people who experience depression need treatment to get better. Identifying signs of depression is a great starting point for helping others find the support they need.
Both men and women can experience depression, but their symptoms may differ. Women tend to show emotional signs of depression. Reports of feeling a persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood are common. Women also report feeling irritable, having less energy, or experiencing a sudden loss of interest in hobbies they once enjoyed.
Men are more likely to have physical signs such as a racing heart, aches, and pains, or a tight chest. Other common symptoms of depression include difficulty sleeping or feelings of hopelessness.
Not every person who is depressed experiences every symptom. Some people experience only a few symptoms. Others have many. If you know someone with depression, you can offer emotional support and encouragement. But never dismiss their feelings. Encourage them to talk to their health care provider. Remind them that, with time and treatment, they can feel better.
Letting the people in your life know that they aren’t alone can trigger a course of action. But don’t be afraid to seek help when you aren’t feeling like yourself either. Reach out to your health care provider if you are feeling symptoms of depression. Together, you can explore the treatment options available to you.