Depression (depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's behavior, feelings and sense of well-being. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think and handle daily activities. Most people feel anxious or depressed at times due to situations in their lives. However, persistent state of depression can lead to severity. According to research, an estimated 19 million American adults are living with major depression. However, you do not have to use drugs to overcome depression.

Feeling several of the following for at least 2 weeks may indicate depression:

1. Loss of interest in daily activities.

You no longer care much about social activities, your hobbies and pretty much everything that your life was about. Nothing brings pleasure or joy to you.

2. Feeling of helplessness and hopelessness.

Feeling like nothing will give. Nothing will ever get better and all hope is lost. The dire situation looks like it's there to stay and there is nothing you can do to improve the situation.

3. Self-loathing.

You persistently criticize yourself for perceived faults and former mistakes. You place no value over yourself and feel you are solely to blame for the situation you are in.

4. Loss of energy.

Performing even the smallest tasks proves to be exhausting. Feeling fatigued and physically drained most of the time may indicate depression. Daily activities you engage in now takes longer to complete due to exhaustion.

5. A problem in concentrating.

Focusing and engaging to your environment begins to become a problem. This absolutely leads to trouble making decisions and remembering things. Inability to concentrate can lead to withdrawal in a depressed person.

6. Changes in sleep.

This involves a drastic change in your sleep pattern Insomnia or oversleeping. You either having problems sleeping or oversleeping altogether. Changes in your sleep pattern; feeling sleepy when you normally wake in that particular time. These symptoms lead to fatigue that can exacerbate additional symptoms of depression.

7. Anxiety.

Anxiety is a feeling of impending doom, even when there is not a justifiable reason. Depression causes anxiety; being tense for no apparent reason or identifiable threat.

8. Irritability.

Getting easily frustrated or angered, even over small or insignificant issues. Irritability varies from individual to individual. There is also a distinction in how men and women display irritability with some getting aggressive or volatile especially in men. Women, on the other hand, feel angry at one moment and tearful in the next.

9. Withdrawal.

Many people shut themselves out of the world. Some lock themselves up in their bedrooms or houses and cut physical contact with family and friends. They may live in isolation for a reasonable amount of time dragging on into weeks.

10. Thoughts of suicide.

Contemplating taking your life is a serious sign that your depression has escalated. This should be addressed immediately. Seek medical attention to have a doctor get you mental health care. Family members and friends should take immediate action if a loved one shows signs of hurting themselves. They can do this by; calling 911, staying with the person until help arrives, removing anything harmful from the person's way. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

11. Physical pain

Increased complaints from physical symptoms such as back pain digestive problems, headaches occur. This is so even in youngger children. The good news is that you can always get better no matter how dire the situation may feel. Learning about depression and the various ways to go about overcoming it is the first step to getting through. Understanding depression and having the will to overcome it is a sure win.