If you have experienced four or more of the following symptoms nearly every day for more than two weeks, you may be suffering from the psychological disorder known as depression:

  • Feelings of sadness, anxiety or hopelessness
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in usual activities and pastimes
  • Increase or decrease in appetite, or unexplained gain or loss of weight
  • Frequent backaches, headaches, stomach problems, or other aches that don’t respond to treatment
  • Insomnia or excessive sleepiness
  • Low energy, fatigue and tiredness
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Inability to concentrate, remember or make decisions
  • Frequent thoughts of suicide or death

Depressive symptoms are more common in older people than among younger individuals. The earlier a depressed person receives help, the sooner the symptoms will be alleviated and the quicker the recovery. If you or someone you care for is dealing with depression, consult with a doctor. With counseling, medication and home treatment, most episodes of depression can be overcome.