10 Signs You Should See a Doctor for Depression

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When it’s more than just the blues

Feeling down in the dumps every so often is a normal part of life. But when you’re gripped by an unrelenting sadness or hopelessness that keeps you from going about your usual routine, it’s time to pay attention: it’s the hallmark sign of clinical depression, and an estimated 7% of adults will experience it, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Even with this telltale sign in place, it’s tough for a depressed person to know if she really has the disease. “Almost all of the symptoms of depression on their own are experienced by everyone at one time or another,” explains Jennifer Payne, MD, director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. If you’ve been dealing with four or more of the following symptoms every day for two weeks, and they’ve impaired the way you usually function (for example, prevented you from working, being a responsible parent, or seeing friends), it’s time to check in with your doctor.

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