According to the National Institute of Mental Health, clinical depression manifests itself in different ways. The types of symptoms – and their severity, frequency and duration – vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.
The treatments vary as well. NIMH says medication and psychotherapy are among the treatments that can be effective.
But some antidepressants come with inherent risks. A number of studies show that antidepressants classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, may cause potentially harmful heart and lung defects in babies born to women who take them while pregnant.
SSRI antidepressants include Prozac and Zoloft.
NIMH lists the following as signs and symptoms of a depressive illness that may require treatment:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings.
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism.
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness.
- Irritability, restlessness.
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex.
- Fatigue and decreased energy.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions.
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping.
- Overeating, or appetite loss.
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts.
- Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with an SSRI lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.
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