People often have the tendency to confuse sadness or just a mere melancholic mood with depression. We find ourselves using phrases such as “I feel too depressed” when we are saddened by some reason or feel low after a breakup. But, that’s not what clinical depression is. There are certain symptoms of depression.
What is Depression?
Clinical depression is a major disease today which can be defined as a mood disorder that affects the way one feels about their general life. A person in depression gets into a black hole of hopelessness, self-loathing, lack of interest in life, lack of self-confidence and ends up creating a toxic situation that might harm them.
It’s a phase, where even if the person tries to improve or get better, they keep drowning deep and deep into the whole of darkness. That is when they need help- might be clinical or local, from friends, family and loved ones.
12 Signs and Symptoms of Depression
It’s often difficult to differentiate between the overwhelming sadness and actual depression. That’s when the symptoms of depression come into the picture. So, in this article, we’ll be talking about the 12 significant signs and symptoms of depression that might help one to recognize and further cure it. Give the following symptoms a read, so as to be well aware of the prevailing condition.
1. Overwhelming Emotions:
Depression causes severe mood swings which might be uncontrollable. One moment you are angry, and the other moment you might be weeping incessantly or crying out loud. And, if you try to keep your emotions within, it might lead to severe irritation, hopelessness, and frustration.
Note: The mood swings are a part of your depression. It’s better to feel and react according to them. Keeping them in might lead to adverse situations and you might end up hurting yourself or hampering your relationships.
2. Acute Anxiety:
Depression causes severe anxiousness and anxiety at sudden intervals without your actions having to play any role in it. Generally, such a stage includes acute restlessness, nervousness, feelings of danger, tension, panic, or even dread; rapid breathing, rapid heart rate, muscle twitching or trembling, heavy sweating, trouble in thinking clearly about anything else than the thing you’re probably worried about, etc.
Note: At such times, try to calm down through meditation, active and passive breathing and consumption of foods which reduce stress and anxiousness, such as apples, walnuts, mushrooms, onions, chia seeds, leafy greens, tomatoes and other foods rich in fiber and omega3 fatty acids.
During a depression, its really common to have guilt trips, helplessness, and hopelessness even when people are there beside you. You go through a phase where you start self-loathing, self-hate, and even worthlessness. You can hear yourself speaking recurring phrases such as “It’s me! I am the problem”,”It’s all my fault”, “I am tired of fighting. “I want everything to end”, “I am only hateworthy”, etc.
Note: When you feel so, just stop and think “I am loveworthy and deserve every happiness in the world.”, because you really do.
4. Lack of Interest:
Usually, when we are blue, we turn towards activities that improve our mood and are enjoyable. But if you’re a depression patient, you are likely to lose interest from everything. Nothing anymore would surprise, excite or attract you. Probably the joy and excitement get totally sucked out of life and depressed person lacks the motivation to even do anything that might interest one.
Note: It’s a situation that can’t be helped. you can only try to be more active and not just bury yourself in overwhelming thoughts and anxiety. You should consult a professional at this point.
5. Sleep is an issue:
During a depression, you either sleep too much or too little. Sleep disturbance is a classic symptom of depression which severely harms your health and can lead to acute insomnia if not treated early. As a matter of fact, if your sleep cycle is good but you notice that you’re waking up often and going back to sleep is difficult, then you might be depressed. On the other hand, If you are a person who normally requires less sleep and you find yourself sleeping for much longer periods of time than the usual, or face trouble getting out of bed, or still you feel exhausted even after having a full night’s sleep, then its a red flag for sure.
Note: Do not take sleeping pills if you are sleep deprived. it would harm you more. rather try doing sleep inducing exercises or just drink warm milk before going to help. this is going to help you.
6. Loss of Appetite:
Generally, sad people tend to overeat as a reaction to the mood swings. This makes them feel better. But if you’re in a depression, you would lose your hunger, your appetite and would turn away even from your favorite foods. With the loss of interest in general life, depressed people lose interest in food too.
Note: Try to eat at least something as, during such nervous breakdowns and emotional turmoils, foods play a big role in healing, thus it’s really important that you keep binging on fruits and nuts even if not consuming meals.
7. You’re always Annoyed:
During your depressed phase, your nerves get onto you, and you tend to be annoyed at every little thing. You prefer being alone and if someone intrudes your privacy, you get angry within seconds. You just do not prefer to provide everyone with explanations and you experience moods where everything seems to pile up.
Note: During these times, meditation and good food help a lot. Also, it’s better to speak out rather than keeping inside and letting things pile up.
8. Increased Sensitivity to Pain:
Researchers say that depression makes you three times prone to the average risk of developing some kind of a chronic pain in the body. At this stage, your brain becomes too sensitive to pain. Thus if you are achy all over your body more often, it might be depression.
Note: Do not take painkillers, as, at this point, medicines can increase your resistivity. Rather try natural remedies and workouts to reduce pain.
9. Fatigue Gets Hold Of You:
If you experience continuous fatigue, always feel tired and don’t feel like doing anything, then that’s not laziness, that’s depression. It happens when you lose interest in your work or even your desire to earn.
Note: Its a phase, don’t blame yourself for being useless and lazy, also try to make people around you understand how you feel. If your condition starts affecting your professional life severely, then you should visit a doctor.
10. Social Isolation:
It’s a major symptom of depression, especially for a person who used to be enthusiastic, outgoing and jolly. Even though people in a depressed state prefer to be isolated and away from people but that shouldn’t be the case, because isolation breeds depression.
Note: Try to be in public and around people as much as you can. this will help you to recover soon and not let you drown in the hole of darkness more.
11. You have Trouble Focusing:
A person in a depressed state faces trouble in focusing and concentrating. They tend to become forgetful and feel overwhelmed even if they have to remember petty things.
Note: Share your problems with some trustworthy people. They might be able to help you. Make them remember your things or use sticky notes. To increase your concentration levels, practice meditation.
12. You think of Quitting:
If you are suffering from depression, more often you feel totally numb, you think of quitting and death becomes an option for you. You tend to have passive suicidal thoughts, every now and then, you think about the process of dying and wish that to happen to you soon.
Note: In such times, don’t stay alone. seek out for help. people are there who could bring you out of the phase or make you feel better through their kind words.
How is Depression Different in Males and Females:
Studies prove that depression manifests itself differently in males and females. Women tend to show visible signs of emotions, such as crying and self-hate, while men are inclined towards being more rigid and portray fewer emotions.
Even symptoms of depression in men may vary from symptoms of depression in women. Researchers prove that men suffer from anger attacks and irritability, twice as compared to women. Also, men tend to sleep more and overeat during the depression while women usually suffer from insomnia and loss of appetite.
Depression in Transgender Individuals:
A study exploring mental well being in transgender individuals confirms that non-treated transgender people generally have around 4-fold increased risk of depression.
Older age, poorer interpersonal function, lower self-esteem and less social support predict depressive disorder in the transgender population.
Well, interventions that are offered along with gender affirming treatments aim at developing interpersonal skills, increasing self-esteem and improving social support, hoping that this might reduce depression and prepare the individuals for a more successful and better transition.
Depression in Children:
Children are too young and immature to articulate their symptoms of depression. Thus it becomes really difficult to diagnose the disorder in them.
Well, signs of depression in teenagers or children might include worry, continuous nagging, persistent clinginess, negativity, their unwillingness to go to school and irritability. If your child behaves this way relentlessly without any improvement, then you should consult a psychologist.
So these were the 12 significant signs and symptoms of depression and other symptoms in different individuals explained above so as to facilitate awareness about this illness. If you’re suffering from depression or find someone around you suffering from any of the above symptoms, then do not neglect them. It’s high time to take care of them and visit a professional for help.