The Symptoms of Depression
One of the most common questions we ask ourselves when it comes to depression is ‘how do I know if I or a loved one is depressed’.
It’s true that we are all prone to mood swings and feeling low at times when things just aren’t going in the direction we’d hoped and dreamed however, recognising the signs of true depression in yourself, and of those around you is a vital.
Recognising the symptoms of depression in the early stages can lead to you, and other individuals, getting the help they need and for you to find the resources required to help yourself or your friend/family member through this difficult period in time.
The degrees of depression vary on an individual basis and while many are capable of hiding how they are truly feeling, spotting the signs in yourself or a loved one is crucial first step on the road to getting better and feeling better about your situation, and in understanding why you feel the way you do.
In this article we are going to look at the symptoms of depression and what kinds of emotional and sometimes physical changes you can expect to see in both yourself and in the people around you, so if you do have concerns about how you’re feeling or indeed, how your best friend, daughter, son, or grandfather is coping in their particular circumstances, you’ve come to the right place.
The first thing you may notice about yourself or your loved one is the fact that there seems to be a sudden lack of interest in the things they used to enjoy and this runs in conjunction with having little or no interest in basic daily activities. Stemming from the complex feeling of self loathing and the loss of energy those with depression experience, these symptoms can have an impact on friendships and social activity. With these perceptions of self loathing and overall worthlessness comes an amount of anger, irritability, and frustration as a person in distress tries to make sense of why they feel the way they do but are unable to pinpoint any direct causes.
These overwhelming feelings are something quite different from having ‘the blues’ and often spiral much deeper as an individual begins to find that sleep is difficult to come by, and a loss of appetite is also affecting them on a physical level.
One of the most difficult symptoms to spot in others is how they are constantly tuned in to negative thoughts. These negative thoughts usually show themselves in a ‘what’s the point’, or similar kind of inward attitude, forcing an individual to retreat into themselves as they begin to feel their contribution to the world simply isn’t good enough nor will it ever be.
If you or the loved one you have concerns for seems to be drinking more than they usually would, or indulges in any other form of reckless behaviour, they could be suffering with depression too. Alcohol tends to be viewed as a quick fix escape from the stress of a situation or as a sleep aid however, alcohol itself is a depressant and often drives feelings of negativity.
If you do have concerns about depression and think perhaps you or a loved one is afflicted with this illness, the symptoms can be relatively simple to spot if you know what you’re looking for. If you often find yourself questioning your abilities, and if you are trapped in a never ending spiral of negative thinking which is leading to a loss of sleep and appetite, then it’s time to seek the advice of a professional, and of course, if you recognise these or any of the symptoms we have mentioned today in someone else, you can help set them on the road to recovery with confidence and clarity.