How To Spot The Signs Of Depression

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The normal ups and downs in life mean that everyone feels sad from time to time but if despair and emptiness take a hold of your life and fail to go away, you may be suffering from depression. Depression brings mental slowness, exhaustion, feeling of hopelessness or helplessness, pains, aches, confusion, self-loathing, sadness, lack of concentration and lack of energy.

Everyone is sad, exhausted, irritable or frustrated sometimes but how can we tell when the situation rises to depression? This article outlines the symptoms which indicate that someone is suffering from depression.

  • Weight or appetite changes

Has your eating habits significantly changed making you eat too much or nothing at all? This is accompanied by massive weight loss or gain in a short period like a month or even in weeks. A significant change in weight and appetite is one of the signs of depression.

  • Anger, restlessness and irritability

If your personality suddenly changes from the person that people loved to a totally new person everyone want to avoid, or you are unable to feel happy and relax, it could be a sign of depression. When one is depressed, everyone and everything around him get in his nerves, your tolerance level is lower and temper short.

  • Loss of memory

If you are having trouble remembering things you knew, making decisions or even solving simple problems in your personal life or at work, it is a sign of depression often seen in older adults. Severe depression can also lead to loss of cognitive ability and eventually lead to nickname pseudodementia.

  • Unexplained pains and aches

Increase in physical pain such as back pain, headaches, stomach pain, aching muscle or inner pain that never materializes is another symptom of depression. Frequent and non-specific pain is a very common depressive sign.

  • Reckless behavior

Depressed persons often get involved in reckless behavior such substance abuse, too much drinking, reckless driving, compulsive gambling or dangerous sports to mask the psychic pain of depression.

  • Sadness

Extreme feelings of sadness and strong feelings of guilt and worthlessness are a trio of symptoms which point directly to depression.

  • Sleep changes

It can be either you are sleeping all the time or you can stay awake for days without any sleep. This is not a problem if it only happen occasionally but if it a permanent change in your sleeping pattern and it is accompanied by the above symptoms, then it is a sign of depression.

  • Social withdrawal

Social withdrawal is a major symptom of depression. If you are no longer interested in your former hobbies, sex or social activities and you are more content alone, then you could be depressed.

  • Suicidal thoughts

A person who is mentally stable normally would not contemplate suicide. If suicide crosses your mind, then certainly you are depressed.

What you should do:

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then you should seek help immediately. You can talk to a friend and explain your feelings and thoughts to them or see a psychiatrist, psychologist or a clinical social worker. Begin taking antidepressants and join talk therapy.  Most importantly, never ignore the signs of depressions as the consequences can be fatal.

Photo by: Kristaps Bergfelds / CC by

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