Depression is common and becoming more common. It’s important to recognize the symptoms of depression. If some of these symptoms seem to emerge, it’s important to seek out medical help.
The Signs and Symptoms of Depression 
When depression is considered, we think about some core symptoms of depression, along with somatic symptoms and other associated symptoms.
Core Symptoms of Depression
We generally say at least one or more core symptoms are expected in moderate and severe depression. 
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day
- Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day
Somatic symptoms are those that affect your physical body or physical abilities .
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (5% change in body weight in a month), or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
- Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
Other Associated Symptoms
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick).
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
- Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
Diagnosing depression is left to professionals. Mental health practitioners can work with you to gauge how many of the symptoms above apply, combined with severity of symptoms, frequency, and duration.
All these factors are important when fully assessing depression.
Talk to your health care team to decide the best course of action.
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About the Author - Dr. Johann de Chickera
Dr. Johann is a fully licensed Naturopathic Doctor. His approach emphasizes the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and improving one’s health naturally. Dr. Johann obtained a Doctor of Naturopathy at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM). Education at CCNM is a vigorous four years, with a curriculum involving biomedical sciences, physical diagnosis, clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture, botanical (herbal) medicine, physical medicine, homeopathy and lifestyle management.
While Dr. Johann has a general practice, he focuses on fertility, hormonal imbalances, gut health, and autoimmune disease.
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