Hostile, Exhaused=Depression?

Over the past several months I am constantly exhausted regardless of how much sleep I get. I was managing on my own for awhile (barely) but when I found myself being short with clients and getting into hostile confrontations with opposing council, I decided to talk with my doctor. She put me on Zoloft and said that my symptoms and behavior changes were symptoms of depression. Is this really true?

Depression has many symptoms and irritability or moodiness is one of them. However, just because someone is irritable does not mean they are depressed. To make the diagnosis of depression, irritability would have to be associated with other symptoms. Feelings of sadness or despair, tearfulness, loss of interest in normal activities, change in appetite (marked by weight gain or loss), change in sleep habits, mood swings and chronic feelings of exhaustion are some possible symptoms. Also, while many people with depression do experience sadness or despair, others may experience “anhedonia,” a loss of the ability to experience pleasure. This may explain why you don’t feel gloomy or sad and yet can still have depression.

When these symptoms are evident, it is a good idea to do what your doctor did, arrange for an evaluation with a mental health provider who can make a differential diagnosis. Treatment for depression can consist of psychotherapy and/or medication, and lifestyle changes, for example, adding aerobic exercise, a balanced diet and relaxation techniques. Also, because alcohol itself is a depressant, it is wise to use it very moderately, if not avoiding it altogether. The good news about depression is that it is a very treatable condition.

preload preload preload