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Is it "the Blues" or Depression?

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

Depression, like most mental illnesses, lies on a spectrum,” says Kirk Chung, M.D., medical director of Kettering Adventist HealthCare’s Behavioral Medicine Center in Dayton, Ohio. “Everyone feels down from time to time. Depression, as an illness, is defined by the intensity of its symptoms and duration.”

He adds, major depression is diagnosed by a person suffering with at least five of the following symptoms for a two-week period or longer:

  • Fatigue
  • Feelings of sadness or emptiness
  • Loss of enjoyment in activities that had previously been pleasurable
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight, either gain or loss
  • Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or sleeping too much
  • Restlessness, irritability or an observable physical slowing or dragging
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
  • Interference with thinking or concentration or indecisiveness
  • Recurrent thoughts of death

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