This post is for people who want to understand the warning signs and symptoms of depression. You might be reading it for yourself or for someone you care about.
If you already know you or someone you love has depression then read my post about how it actually feels to be depressed.
Depression is a life-destroying illness that affects 1 in every 10 people. It can completely change a person’s character and personality. If you think you or a loved one might be depressed, it’s important to get all the information you can. The key is to implement a plan to get yourself out of the dark hole that depression creates.
What are the symptoms of depression?
The many symptoms of depression include:
– Lack of energy
– Feelings of hopelessness, guilt or worthlessness
– Weight gain or loss
– Changed sleep patterns
– Anger or irritability
– Being apathetic (feeling numb or not caring about anything)
– Self-disgust or low self-esteem
– Reckless behaviour
– Loss of interest in things once pleasurable (including sex)
– Feeling anxious for no particular reason
– Suicidal thoughts or attempts
Someone who is depressed might show many symptoms or only a few warning signs. Regardless, depression feels utterly awful for the person experiencing it. It’s important to seek treatment as early as possible in order to overcome it.
Having depression and feeling depressed are two different things
We all feel down sometimes in our lives. This is natural when losses or disappointments occur. People will often say, “I’m so depressed!”, when what they really mean is, “I feel down”.
Feeling down or low isn’t depression, it’s just a normal human state associated with bad things happening to you. It’s only when these feelings persist for a longer period of time that you might be depressed.
Doctors and psychologists say that if you’ve been feeling down or low for 2-3 weeks continuously and it’s affecting your daily life, you might have some form of depression.
You can look at the depression checklist from Beyond Blue to see how severe your depression might be.
Can depression be treated?
The great news is that it can! Either by seeing a psychologist or with medication. If you think you might have depression, it’s important to see a doctor and get an assessment. They can refer you to a psychologist who will be able to help you.
There are also lots of other ways to treat depression, such as:
– Breaking the cycle by forcing yourself to do things
– Keeping a journal or diary
– Getting support from your family and friends (this one is particularly important. Read my post about how to talk to someone who has depression to speed up their recovery and not burn yourself out.)
you’re not alone. Let people help you and get your life back on track