Identifying Various Symptoms of Depression

By: Mike Cole | Posted: 12th October 2009

If you have been feeling out of sorts or otherwise down or blue, you may be suffering from depression. Depression is a mental condition that can make it difficult to experience joy in life, and can rob you of your sense of well being. When left untreated, depression can affect your life to the point that relationships, friendships, and even your career may be in jeopardy. There are several effective management techniques for depression. But the first step is to determine if your feelings are being caused by depression, or if there is some other condition or issue at hand. A mental health professional will provide the best guidance, but you can start by reviewing these symptoms to see if you may be experiencing depression.

Depression and Sleep Issues

Depression can disrupt your normal sleep patterns, either causing you to sleep too much, or too little. Insomnia that can't be explained by any other cause (for example, large meals or caffeine before bed, high levels of stress, or environmental causes, such as noise and light), may be caused by depression. On the other hand, depression can also cause you to sleep much too much. People suffering from depression may feel as if they completely lack energy or the will to be active, and may retire to bed very early and stay in bed very late.

Depression and Weight Change

Like sleep issues, weight issues caused by depression can manifest in two ways. There is a chance that depression can lead to emotional eating and weight gain. Overeating, or eating when you're not hungry, can be a symptom of depression, especially if it's combined with the other symptoms described in this article. Depression can also cause feelings of such extreme indifference that you might not bother to eat or have any interest in food, in which case significant weight loss might result.

Depression and Apathy or Difficulty Concentrating

Depression can also lead to difficulty in concentration. Things like work or school can seem unimportant, irrelevant, or simply beyond your capacity to focus on. This can result in a complete inability to commit to a course of action or to make decisions. Obviously, this can be detrimental to one's career or grades, and can have serious long term consequences.

Depression and Anxiety, Guilt and Suicidal Thoughts

The emotional symptoms of depression can include feelings of anxiety and even panic attacks. You might also feel extreme guilt or worthlessness, and may even experience suicidal thoughts. Depression can also create feelings of hopelessness, or a feeling that no matter what you do, things will never get better. You may not even be able to pinpoint the cause of these feelings, but depression does not answer to logic. You might also feel sad for no reason, or feel empty or hollow when suffering from depression.

Depression and Loss of Interest in Things you Once Loved
When your normal hobbies and interests fail to capture your attention, no matter how hard you try, it could be a symptom of depression. Depression can also make it difficult to enjoy spending time with loved ones or significant others, and can even result in a drop in libido. Factor in a complete lack of energy or total fatigue, and completing your daily tasks, let alone getting joy out of relationships and hobbies, can seem impossible.

Depression and Feelings of Isolation

When you are depressed, those who try to cheer you up might make you feel even more depressed and alone. People who are depressed might choose isolation over the company of others, and might even refuse to go to school or work, answer their doors, or otherwise spend time with people they love.

If you are suffering from several of the symptoms listed above or similar symptoms, it is important that you seek the advice of a medical professional who can help you to determine if you are actually suffering from depression. A medical professional can work with you to find the proper course of depression help and provide you with additional resources and support.

If you are contemplating suicide, or feel that someone you know may be having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Depression is a very serious mental illness, but it is one that can be controlled with medication and therapy. By working with a doctor and finding a positive support system, you can regain joy and pleasure in your relationships and hobbies. Remember, it's important to pay attention and listen to your emotions and your body. The earlier you notice the symptoms of depression, the sooner you can seek help and get your life back on track.

Leslie Silver is a freelance writer who writes about self improvement by seeking out depression help.
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Tags: two ways, concentration, indifference, effective management, apathy, environmental causes, weight gain, sleep patterns, issue at hand, suffering from depression, insomnia, jeopardy, management techniques, levels of stress, emotional eating