Drugs may be an easy choice but not a good one the problem, maybe flaws in the diagnostic manual mental-health professionals use to identify depression.
At the moment, only one such distinction is made. People grieving the death of a loved one, the manual allows, can temporarily exhibit all the signs of depression without having a mental illness.
Having five or more of these symptoms for at least two weeks could signal clinical depression:
· Depressed mood
· Lack of pleasure in all, or most, activities
· Significant weight loss or weight gain
· Severe agitation or slowing down of normal activities
· Fatigue or loss of energy
· Feelings of worthlessness
· Diminished ability to think or concentrate
· Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Some 3 million Americans have a mild form of depression called dysthymia. Recent research suggests that they may benefit more from lifestyle changes than from medication.
· U.S. NEWS&WORLD Report, August 6, 2007