Everyone goes through rough times where we feel sad or down in the dumps. From a professional pyschologist point of view, it’s pretty normal to feel that way on occasion.
In fact, pyschologist would rather we cry. Crying can be cathartic and beneficial, allowing us to release all the negative feeling that is causing us to feel bad. Not crying and keeping our feelings bottled up, is in fact, unhealthy and undesirable.
However, when depression seems to be going nonstop and the patient just can’t snap out of it no matter how hard he or she tries, then that probably signifies depression. When depression sets in, it is time to seek professional medical help.
Depression, as a sickness, is much more common than what most people would have expected. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in America. It has been reported that about 9.5 million Americans suffer from depression almost every six months. Depression strikes equally across social status or race although we tend to see a sightly higher percentage across the poor and aged.
The good thing about depression is that if it is treated medically in the initial or mild stage, the chances of a complete cure is very high.
Hence, it is important that we know the signs of depression so that we can handle the sickness if it ever hits us or our friends and loved ones.
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Table of Contents
Signs of Depression
How Do I know if I am Severely Depressed?
Depression Is A Real Illness
What Causes Depression?
When Should I see a doctor?
Is there Treatment for Depression?
Are there any “natural” treatments for depression?
Depression and Suicide
Depression and Anxiety Disorders
Manic Depression and Bipolar Disorder
Panic Attacks and Depression
Depression and Alcohol
How Does Depression affect Physical health?
Avoid Depression in a Few Easy Steps
Top 14 signs of Depression
There is usually a period of time that a person takes to sink into a depression. It normally does not happen overnight. Watch out for these signs amongst your friends or family if you suspect that they are slipping into depression.
Once the signs and syntoms become obvious, do seek professional help immediately.
1. The person has drastic change of appetite.
If the person suddenly gains weight or plummets to a stick-thin figure, then chances are he might be depressed. This is just one sign that has to correspond with other signs to validate the existence of depression.
2. He suddenly has a sudden change in sleeping patterns.
The person could be a sound sleeper his entire life and then suddenly, experiences insomnia and other sleeping problems. This could be a symptom that depression is lurking.
3. The person suddenly loses interest in things and activities he used to enjoy.
If a person had been passionate about an activity, e.g., basketball, and then suddenly makes a 360 degree turn, that could be a symptom of depression.
4. There is energy loss and presence of fatigue.
You may see an apparent change in attitude. The person does not want to actively participate in activities. Energy is seeped from him and when asked what the matter is, he could only shrug and retreat back to his sadness.
5. The person feels he is unworthy.
This is when depression can be moving into a serious mode. The person begins to feel that he has nothing to live for and unworthy of being loved and appreciated.
6. The person starts losing hope.
Gone is his optimism to live another day. He is already hopeless and no amount of “hope springs eternal” can pull him out of this rut.
7. The person feels guilty without any reason at all.
The person stops himself from being happy because he feels he has no right to be one. He harbors guilt for no apparent reason.
8. He becomes indecisive.
What used to be a firm decision-maker suddenly becomes fickle-minded and too indecisive. Depression occurs when one is too insecure to come up with decisions.
9. He is suicidal.
This is such an alarming sign that medical help must be provided as soon as possible.
10. He experiences melancholia.
Melancholia is that sadness that completely engulfs the person and is characterized by the following: waking up two hours earlier than the usual, languidly moving in the morning and walking slowly.
11. He becomes mentally disturbed.
He suddenly thinks of morbid things, detaches himself from his usual mindset and starts hallucinating.
12. He develops physical aches.
A depressed person gets stomachaches or muscle pains with no physiological basis at all.
13. He obtains that “My life is passing by” feeling.
Other than assimilating the “Life is unfair!” and “what has gone wrong?” drama, a clinically depressed person also feels that he is just simply watching his life deteriorating from afar.
14. The person becomes antisocial.
A depressed person is likely to isolate himself from his family and friends. But there is also a case when a depressed person gets so frightened being alone that he clings to people all the time. However, no amount of social involvement makes him feel better.
Depression, if not seriously taken and treated, would lead to more severe mental illnesses or even death. Everyone has to know the signs and symptoms so the next time he has a hunch that a loved one is suffering from depression, he could immediately ask a doctor to administer professional assistance.