Depression is a mental disorder which can affect people from all walks of life, of all nationalities and ages. Whether you personally suffer from depression, or if you suspect that someone you know may have developed it, knowing the signs and symptoms of depression can help you to identify it, and help the person who has it to live a fuller, more satisfying life. If you know the symptoms and early warning signs, you can also talk to your doctor to learn more about treatment options, and prevent potential complications.
Everyone has times in their life when they feel sad, lonely, or just plain down; there may be good reasons for these times of moodiness, or they may develop with little warning, and for no apparent reason. It can be difficult to distinguish the symptoms of depression from this type of passing sadness, but there are some telltale signs that doctors and mental health professionals will frequently recognize. Unfortunately, many people with depression are never diagnosed or treated for the disorder, and a lack of treatment can increase the risk of complications such as suicide attempts; this is why it’s so important for the symptoms of depression to be recognized, not just by doctors and mental health professionals, but also by loved ones of depression sufferers, and the sufferers themselves.
People with depression often experience difficulty concentrating. They may lack their normal mental clarity, have difficulty remembering details like appointments, and be easily overwhelmed when it comes to making decisions about even everyday things. Sleep problems are also a frequent symptom of depression, though which problems are experienced vary from one individual to the next. Some people find that they are sleeping more than they normally would (up to 14 or 16 hours per day), while others experience difficulty falling or staying asleep. Early-morning wakefulness or insomnia are just as likely to be indicators of depression as sleeping too much, though they are less frequently identified as such.
Chronic fatigue and an overall decrease in energy are frequent and easily identifiable signs of depression. Along with the fatigue may come a loss of interest in activities or hobbies which an individual once enjoyed, and a decrease in libido. Irritability, restlessness, and overall moodiness are also typically an issue for those who are suffering from depression, and these changes in mood are frequently accompanied by (or caused by) feelings of guilt or worthlessness, overall hopelessness and pessimism, and persistent feelings of sadness or anxiety. These symptoms are frequently accompanied by a change in one’s appetite (overeating, or loss of appetite), body aches, headaches, and digestive problems.
~Contributed by InspireHappy Staff Writer
If you believe you may have some form of depression, one way to know for certain is to document your daily moods, physical feelings, and thoughts. As you log this information, observe any “feelings” pattern of sadness or gloom; when reading your past thoughts notice any recurring unhappy or “down in the dumps” thoughts. All this information will help you be more aware of your current state and help you identify if you have any of the depression symptoms. If you feel that you are depressed please seek the help of a psychiatric professional.
InspireHappy wants you to be healthy and happy in the mind, body, and spirit. If you are interested in monitoring your daily moods, physical feelings, and thoughts may we suggest our Attitude Tracker mobile app. It’s a simple and easy tool to help you become more aware of your day-to-day thoughts and feelings.