A Look at Depression

Judges and lawyers are 3.6 times higher than other professionals of similar socio-demographic traits and top the list of 104 professions for symptoms of major depressive disorders. If a lawyer has a “blue” mood that lasts for more than two weeks and experiences any of the following symptoms, it is likely that person is having an episode of depression. The symptoms include:

• A change in appetite (eating too much or too little).Problems with sleep (either insomnia or sleeping longer than usual).

• A loss of interest or pleasures. (It may take a form of withdrawing from family or neglecting formerly enjoyed hobbies.)

• The inability to sit still, pacing or hand-wringing (“agitation”). Or slowed speech, increased pauses before answering a question, monotonous speech, slow body movements or an overall decrease in energy level (“retardation”).

• A sense of worthlessness or feelings of inadequacy, and other forms of negative thinking, including inappropriate guilt.

• Recurring thoughts of death and/or suicide.

• Difficulty concentrating, slow thinking, indecisiveness (the smallest task may seem difficult or impossible to accomplish).

• Memory difficulty and easy distraction.

• Fatigue.

Episodes of clinical depression may last from six months to two years if left untreated. Most health care professionals believe that stress and genetics play an important role in the onset of depression even though they have been unable to pinpoint the cause of it.

Article of Interest

NIH Encourages Depressed Moms to Seek Treatment for Themselves
November 13, 2009 • Science

Update Numerous studies have suggested that depression runs in families. Children of depressed parents are 2–3 times as likely to develop depression as compared to children who do not have a family history of the disorder. Other studies have shown that remission of depression in mothers is associated with improvements in psychiatric symptoms in their children. Despite all signs encouraging mothers to prioritize their own mental health, many suffer from untreated depression while managing treatment for their children’s emotional or behavioral problems.