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How do church leaders recognize depression in others and themselves?

Since there are three major types of depression, each with a different set of symptoms and characteristics, recognizing depression in oneself and in others can be tricky.

Understanding the difference between the three types can help church leaders to respond more effectively when depression is suspected. The first type of depression is major clinical depression, which is characterized by a combination of different symptoms, such as a general feeling of sadness, a decrease in energy level, a loss of interest in hobbies, a lack of passion, and/or chronic pessimism. A combination of these symptoms is typically present in a person suffering from major clinical depression for two weeks or more.

A second type of depression, called dysthymia, is less serious than clinical depression, but its milder symptoms tend to last longer. In recognizing dysthymia in oneself or in others, watch for a general loss of energy or lack of passion for an extended period of time. While not debilitating, dysthymia ...

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