Adult Depression

What is Adult Depression?

Depression is a serious mood disorder that can significantly impact behavior, cognition, and emotions. It is a prevalent issue among adults, with an estimated 19.4 million individuals, or 7.8% of all US adults per year (2019 estimate), affected by it. It’s important to understand that clinical depression is not a typical aspect of aging nor is it synonymous with occasional sadness or “off days.” Additionally, experiencing depression during adolescence may increase the likelihood of experiencing depression in adulthood.

The following is a list of common symptoms.

  • Persistent sad or “empty” mood
  • Crying spells
  • Isolating from family or friends, not answering phone calls
  • Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
  • Guilt either about feeling depressed or past events
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities or avoidance of pleasurable activities
  • Decreased energy, fatigue or lethargy
  • Moving or talking very slowly
  • Difficulty focusing, concentrating, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, especially falling asleep, waking up too early in the morning, or waking in the middle of the night
  • Eating less than usual, often times just no “appetite”
  • Poor attention to cleaning, cooking, bathing one self
  • Thoughts of suicide, death or that life may not be worth living anymore

There are several types of depression that adults may experience:

  • Major Depressive Disorder: includes multiple symptoms as above lasting at least two weeks and interfere with a person’s life
  • Dysthymia: a depressed mood that lasts more than two years, but the person can still function (work, raise children, cook, clean) unlike someone with Major Depressive Disorder
  • Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder: depression due to the use of substances, like alcohol, drugs or pain medication
  • Depressive Disorder Due to A Medical Condition: depression that is secondary to a medical illness, like heart disease, COPD, hypothyroidism or chronic pain.
  • Psychotic Depression
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Seasonal affective Depression


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