Depression Symptoms

There is a common confusion between clinical depression and feeling depressed.  Yes, there is a difference!  Many of us will feel upset, lonely and depressed at times; this is a common reaction to particular events like loss, daily struggles and/or an injured self-esteem.  However, when these depressive emotions become overwhelming lasting for prolonged periods of time they can prevent you from living a normal, active and functioning life.  It is at this point when you should begin questioning whether or not you have clinical depression and must seek out professional help.

depression symptoms

If left untreated,  depression symptoms or clinical  depression can worsen.  If left unidentified for a long period of time, sometimes years, the symptoms can cause painful emotional distress and in some cases suicide.  In fact, one of every ten people suffering from major depression will commit suicide. 

Identifying the signs of depression can be difficult, but it is the first step to obtaining a diagnosis and treatment for the illness.  Unfortunately, approximately 50% of people who experience depressive symptoms do not receive diagnosis or treatment for this psychiatric disorder.

The Symptoms Of Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the symptoms of clinical depression are as follows:

  • difficulty concentrating, making decisions and remembering details
  • decrease in energy and fatigue
  • feelings of worthlessness, guilt and helplessness
  • feelings of pessimism and hopelessness
  • disturbances in sleep patterns, including insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • restlessness or irritability
  • loss of interest in once pleasurable activities
  • change in eating behavior (overeating or appetite loss)
  • persistent aches or pains
  • severe headaches
  • digestive problems or cramps
  • persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety and ’emptiness’
  • suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts

What Are The Warning Signs For Suicide?

One of the core symptoms associated with clinical depression is the high risk of suicide.  If a person expresses thoughts of suicide or an intention to commit suicide you should be aware of an altered mental state.  Warning signs of suicide risk as part of depression can include:

  • sudden changes in mood from sad to calm to happy
  • consistent verbalizing of suicidal thoughts
  • worsening of clinical depressive symptoms
  • engaging in risky behaviors that may lead to death, e.g. driving through red traffic lights
  • loss of interest in things that one used to care about
  • making comments about being helpless and/or worthless
  • putting ‘affairs in order’, e.g. setting up a will
  • making suicidal statements, e.g. “things would be better if I weren’t around”

If you are aware of someone who is displaying the aforementioned signs of suicide with depression, then it is essential you contact your local suicide hot line or contact a mental health professional immediately.  Another option is to take the individual to the emergency room for immediate treatment.

Source: WebMD

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