ANNOUNCER: Depression is a serious disorder, and there is help. But how do you tell if you really suffer from depression?
JOSEPH FRIEDMAN, MD: An important thing for people to remember is that everybody gets depressed now and again.
ANNOUNCER: Feeling down, or losing interest in things you once enjoyed is a key sign of depression. If this persists for at least two weeks, you should see a doctor. But there are other symptoms that need to be present before a diagnosis is made.
JOSEPH FRIEDMAN, MD: These include things like changes in sleep pattern, typically having insomnia; changes in appetite, with a significant weight loss; changes in somebody's ability to concentrate, you lose your ability to concentrate; changes in your motor activity, meaning most people who have depression are typically slowed down, feel this way, and people notice that they're slowed down.
ANNOUNCER: A doctor will also need to rule out other causes, such as diseases and drugs or medications that may be responsible for what is known as secondary depression.
JOSEPH FRIEDMAN, MD: There could be medical conditions which present as depression, and physicians need to be aware of this and need to investigate possible things, such as alteration in somebody's thyroid function, such as somebody taking drugs.
One of the other parts of the interview would be to ask about illicit drug use and alcohol use, to look for signs for any other neurologic conditions which may be producing depression.