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What are some common signs of depression?

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Depression manifests differently based on the individual, but WebMD states that difficulty concentrating or making decisions, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, guilt and hopelessness, loss of interest in formerly engaging activities and suicidal ideation are common. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few months to years. Left untreated, depression can lead to suicide.

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WebMD cautions that although depression is common in teens, if symptoms remain for a significant length of time, teens are most likely suffering from adolescent depression. Depression is estimated to affect one in eight teens. It can also be a side effect of certain medications or illnesses.

Seek treatment when depression begins interfering with everyday life and no solution to the root cause presents itself. WebMD distinguishes between feelings of depression and clinical depression; the latter is accompanied not only by feelings of sadness but by physical symptoms like changes in sleep, energy, appetite and concentration.

When diagnosing depression, WebMD states that doctors often begin by looking for a family history of depression, mental illness and drug or alcohol abuse. Symptoms can vary drastically from individual to individual, preventing doctors from employing any depression test. If physical causes are ruled out, doctors refer patients to a mental health care professional who can determine treatment.

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