Depression: Signs and Symptoms

by Neseret on January 19, 2012

IMG_4953I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know that just to be alive is a grand thing.

~ Agatha Christie ~

I was walking slowly along a narrow bridge holding hands with my little girl. There were many people walking infront of us and behind us. Suddenly I felt like I was loosing my balance. This was a bit unnerving as there were no guard rails on either side of this narrow bridge.

Soon I found myself hanging off of this bridge and firmly holding on to my little girl’s hand. Luckily she was o.k. One of the travelers on the bridge managed to grab her. However I fell deep in to the water below. I could see myself drowning deeper and deeper. I did now know how to swim to save my life.

I woke up in a panic and gasping for air but thankful to still be alive.

Depression is a treatable illness.

Deperession can be one of the most painful and challenging human experiences. In the past and even today many people suffer needlessly from undiagnosed and untreated depression. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of depression so that you can get the treatment you need as soon as possible.

Depression is a treatable illness. There is no need for you or anyone else to continue to suffer. Becoming familiar with the signs and symptoms of depression is one of the first steps in your journey of healing from depression. The list below will help you identify wheather you’re suffering from depression.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

Depression is different from sadness. Everyone experiences sadness from time to time for various reasons. Sadness is a natural part of life. Depression is a medical illness. If you are experiencing the following signs and symptoms on most days for over a two week period you maybe suffering from depression. Please be sure to talk to your doctor or other trained mental health professionals.

Depressed mood

Often people have a certain level of consistent mood and energy that is typical for them. With depression you will notice a marked decline from your usual/”normal” range of mood for you. People who suffer from depression will often report having very “low mood”.

The meaning of “low mood” will differ from one person to the next. I often ask people to rate their mood on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best they’ve ever felt. If you rate your mood on a consistent basis lower than 5 then you maybe suffering from depression.

Loss of Interest in Activities You Use to Enjoy

One of the things that happens when people are suffering from depression is that they lose interest in activities they use to enjoy. Sometimes they have the desire to engage in the activities but don’t have the energy. Other times they will lose both the motivation and the energy to engage in the activities that use to bring them joy.

Many people tend to isolate themselves when they are depressed. People often lose contact with friends and loved ones. It is important for those who are close to an individual suffering from depression to understand that this is not personal. Your loved one is not trying to hurt you. This is part of the illness.

The best thing you can do to help a person suffering from depression in this type of senerio is to take the inititive to make contact. Even if the individual pushes you away keep attempting to connect with them. This is not an easy thing to do when you feel like the other person is not making effort but it is because they’re struggling.

Significant Weight Gain or Loss

Some people lose their appitite when they’re depressed. Other people tend to eat more when they’re depressed. Food can be a source of comfort for some people. Significant weight gain or loss in a relatively short period of time could be a sign of depression. It is important to rule out other medical conditions that could cause weight gain or loss.

Changes in Your Sleep Pattern

Drastic changes in sleep pattern often occur with the onset of depression. Either sleeping longer than is normal for the individual or being unable to fall and stay sleep are often reported by people suffering from depression. Sometimes people are not able to sleep due to anxiety or worry. Other times they sleep too much as a way of coping.

Loss of Energy

Fatigue is one of the symptoms of depression. People experiencing depression often report that they do not have any energy. They feel overwhelmed by simple activities of daily living. They may feel that they’re not able to function at home and at work due to lack of energy.

Feelings of Hopelessness

When you’re going through a bout of depression it can often feel like you are drowning. You feel helpless and hopeless as though you’re never going to feel good again. You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Feelings of hopelessness is one of the hallmarks of depression. This can can often be a very lonely and troubling feeling.

Feelings of Worthlessness

Your view of yourself and the world become extremely negative. It becomes nearly impossible to see all the good you have in your life. The tendency to focus on the negative is typical when you’re suffering from depression. This in turn can greatly affect your mood and self preception.

Decreased Concentration, Indecisiveness, or Inability to Think Clearly

Often people report having decreased concentration as well as difficulty making decisions. Some people describe this phenonmenon as having a “brain fog”. It just feels like you can’t think clearly and you become more and more forgetful. This can be a very unsettling feeling.

Frequent and Recurrent Thoughts of Suicide

Some people have thoughts of harming themselves because of feelings of hopelenssness. Thoughts of suicide are common among individuals suffering from depression. When the pain of depression becomes greater than a person’s coping abilities suicide is looked at as a way out of suffering. If you’re feeling suicidal please talk to a professional.

Please take time to share below your quetions, comments and experiences. If you found this article helpful pass it forward, share it on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you.

Blessings and Peace,

Neseret

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Vhinz March 22, 2012 at 6:48 am

I’m experiencing depression myself that’s why I made a blog for me to gain information and share it to others. “Decreased Concentration, Indecisiveness, or Inability to Think Clearly” and “Loss of Interest in Activities You Use to Enjoy” are the first 2 symptoms I’ve noticed. Now I’m coping with depression through medication prescribed by my doctor.

Reply

Neseret March 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Hi Vhinz,

Glad to hear that you’re coping better with depression through treatment. Medication can play a critical role in the process of healing from depression. When it come so medication it is important to know that it is only part of the treatment plan. There is so much we can do besides medication to help us cope better with depression.

I commend you for sharing your experiences with depression with others through your blog. People need to know they are not alone. Giving to others is also a great way to cope with depression. Being of service to others takes you outside of your own head and comfort zone.

It is also so important to share our stories and experiences with depression as so many people suffer from it. We need to openly talk about it as there is still stigma around mental illness. I thank you for doing your part. Wishing you many blessings and Peace,

Peace, Love & Gratitude,

Neseret

Reply

Precious Leyva June 7, 2017 at 6:21 pm

I didn’t know that decreased concentration could be a symptom of depression. Lately I haven’t been feeling like myself, decreased concentration and being inefficient have been a problem of mine lately. It might be a good idea for me to see a counselor for this. If I have depression, I want to seek help as soon as possible.

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