(NC)-While most Canadians have experienced a period of sadness at some point in their lives, real depression is a serious medical condition that can profoundly affect a person's life and the lives of those around them
How can you tell the difference between a case of the blues and major depressive disorder? There is no blood test or x-ray to diagnose depression, but there are symptoms that you can watch out for:
According to the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (mooddisorderscanada.ca), depression is diagnosed when a person has been experiencing at least five of these symptoms for a period of two weeks or more.
The good news is that eventually, researchers estimate that 80 per cent of people do respond well to treatment, which can include:
The most important first step is an open discussion with doctors about the broad range of symptoms, particularly functional symptoms which are often over-looked. Only then is it possible to work together to ensure the best treatment and care for a return to full functioning in all aspects of life.
Patients should speak with their physician if they have concerns about functional symptoms to ensure they are receiving the best treatment option for their individual needs.