ZocdocAnswersWhat are the symptoms of depression?

Question

What are the symptoms of depression?

Hello. I think I may be depressed. I have been eating a lot more and crying at strange times. I am 40 and my son just left for college. Is it normal to feel this sad? Everything feels so out of control all of a sudden.

Answer

It sounds like you are going through a rough period, which has possibly been triggered by the departure of your son for college. This can be a very difficult time for parents, especially those that have a very close and loving relationship to their children. Feeling emotional and crying are common expressions in these circumstances. Depression is mainly characterized by a feeling of a sad and depressed state (most of the day, nearly every day), as well as the loss of interest in the activities that normally bring one happiness. Other symptoms can include change in eating habits, change in sleep habits, difficulty concentrating and feelings of guilt or hopelessness. The normal and expected grieving process can present in similar ways (though typically with symptoms that are less severe). To better define the symptoms that you are experiencing, you should seek out the care of either your primary care physician or a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or therapist. Talking through your feelings can be very therapeutic and help you to feel better. If it is determined that you are going through a depressive episode, then you can talk with your doctors about the benefits of trying a medication to help you feel better.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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