Depression is a mental illness in which an individual has an abnormal brain function and an imbalance of brain chemicals. There are two kinds of depression mainly – major depressive disorder and dysthmia.
Signs and symptoms of depression vary from person to person. In addition, the symptoms also depend on the severity of the depression. Depression not only affects mood but also thinking, behaviour and physical well-being.
The common signs and symptoms of depression that can if you are suffering from depression are as follows.
Feeling low or feeling helpless and hopeless, as if nothing will ever improve and additionally, feeling that there’s nothing that can be done to improve your situation is a characteristic of depression. You think negatively about yourself and criticise yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
Loss of interest
One will show no interest in things that he/she enjoyed in the past. Be it your hobbies, pastimes, social activities or sex. You don’t enjoy anything and it seems you have lost the ability to feel the joy and pleasure.
Change in appetite or weight fluctuations is another sign of depressive state. You may not feel hungry at all or all of a sudden there may be a significant increase in your appetite. As a result, a considerable weight loss or weight gain can occur.
Insomnia (finding difficult to sleep or waking up in the early hours of the morning), or feeling excessively sleepy (also known as hypersomnia) indicate that you suffer from depression.
Irritability or restlessness
Feeling irritable or restless (agitated or on edge) constantly is one of depression’s common sign. Your tolerance level seems to be very low and everything and everyone seems to irritate or get on your nerves.
You tend to avoid social contacts with others, also with those you normally want to spend time (spouse, children, parents, friends). You are unable to shake negative feelings and live normally. When not addressed, depression may worsen and can lead to more serious problems.
Tired and sluggish
One feels tired and exhausted most of the time even after adequate rest and sleep. You seem to be constantly physically drained and even small tasks exhaust you or take a long time to complete.
Unable to concentrate
You find it difficult to concentrate and have trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
You may experience aches and pain (such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain) often and these don’t go away. This is one of the signals of the onset of depression.
All these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows but if you are experiencing these symptoms constantly and they are getting worse, then probably you are depressed. Remember that depression is totally curable and the earlier you seek treatment the easier it is to treat. You can help yourself deal with depression by making small changes in your day-to-day life. If you find the symptoms overwhelming and disabling and they are affecting your life; then it’s time to seek help.