Depression is an illness that increasingly afflicts people worldwide, interfering with concentration, motivation and many other aspects of everyday functioning. It is a complex disorder, involving many systems of the body, including the immune system, either as cause or effect. It disrupts sleep, and it interferes with appetite, in some cases causing weight loss, in others weight gain. Because of its complexity, a full understanding of depression has been elusive.
Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies among individuals and also varies over time.
Persistent sad, anxious, or empty mood
Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Insomnia, early morning awakening or oversleeping
Appetite and/or weight loss, or overeating and weight gain
Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts
Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain
Schizophrenia is a disabling, chronic, and severe mental illness that affects more than 21 million people around the world. Symptoms include hearing internal voices, having false beliefs, disorganized thoughts and behavior, being emotionally flat, and having hallucinations. These symptoms may leave a person feeling fearful and withdrawn. Their disorganized behavior can be perceived as incomprehensible or frightening to others.
The symptoms of schizophrenia include positive, negative, and disorganized symptoms. For a diagnosis to be made, acute symptoms must be present for a one-month period, and continuous signs of a disturbance must be present for at least six months. The symptoms must also cause major problems in functioning for an individual in various areas of their life, including work, relationships, or self-care. Despite the severity of their symptoms, many people diagnosed with schizophrenia are unaware that they have an illness.