Depression Symptoms - Quick 30 Seconds Summary
- Depression is a major mood disorder that is experienced by 5% of the global population according to the World Health Organisation
- It is a complex and serious mental health issue that needs to be diagnosed and treated by psychiatrists or psychologists only.
- Symptoms of depression range include persistent feelings of sadness, negative outlook towards life, heightened anxiety, anger and stress, loss of interest in activities, fatigue, sleep issues, unexplained body aches, changes in appetite, crankiness, slowed thinking and suicidal thoughts.
- It is best to seek professional medical help if you observe any of the symptoms of depression given in the article and get help on time.
Depression - Meaning & Overview
Depression is, unfortunately, a commonly occurring mental illness everywhere in the world. It is not limited to a particular race, gender, age or nation. In the United States alone 1 in 6 people experiences depression at least once in their entire lifetime.
Depression is a mood disorder where the patient suffering from it feels unhappy, sad and loses interest in life for long periods of time. It cannot be simply shaken off as “the blues”. It is a persistent feeling of sadness and glooms that stops the patient from doing even their daily routine.
In this article, we will be taking a deep dive into Symptoms of Depression. The symptoms are a simple but great indicator for identifying signs of depression early on for you or for your loved ones.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression symptoms are signs that can potentially display the onset of clinical depression. However, depression is a complex mental illness that cannot be diagnosed just based on symptoms, a psychiatrist or psychologist is the right person to diagnose a patient with depression.
Let us take a look at an exhaustive list of depression symptoms:
1. Persistent Feelings of Sadness
A person who is depressed feels sad or unhappy for long durations of time. He/she is unable to move past the sadness and look at the bright side of things in life. When a depressed person experiences persistent feelings of sadness – they may cry, sob or have unexplained outbursts for trivial or no reason at all.
2. Negative Outlook Towards Life
Being depressed is akin to wearing dark glasses day and night. You only tend to view everything negatively. Everything in the world seems wrong and you seem to be the only person suffering. Depressed people become cynical and bitter as time passes.
They feel worthless, suffer from self-esteem issues and harbor feelings of guilt within themselves. Nothing they do is good enough and no amount of external validation makes them feel better.
3. Heightened Anxiety, Anger & Stress Issues
It is normal to feel anxiety, anger and stress. These are normal and universal emotions that everyone in the world feels from time to time. But people diagnosed with depression have heightened anxiety or anger or stress management issues or all of them.
They are more likely to get anxious when things do not go as per their plan. They are also more likely to get unreasonably angry at small issues and are bad at handling stressful situations.
Feelings of nervousness, fast breathing, increased sweating, stammering while speaking and an increased heart rate are signs of heightened anxiety or stress.
4. Loss of Interest in Activities
Many times the most classic symptom of depression is a loss of interest in activities that were once his/her favorite activities. Suppose your friend liked to swim or watch movies, but once they become depressed they may refuse to participate in these activities.
There is a definite lack of interest in activities such as sports, hobbies, music, dance, chilling with close friends and family members and sex. Nothing stimulates the depressed person into engaging their mind or body in different activities.
5. Tiredness or Fatigue
It is common for people with depression to feel tired all the time. This tiredness is not a result of exhausting physical activities but due to the chemical imbalance in their brain. Fatigue also triggers sleep issues.
6. Sleep Issues
With the onset of depression, sleep issues are triggered. A common symptom of depression is either insomnia or over sleepiness. Some people lose their sleep completely and remain awake even during the wee hours of the night. While others sleep through the night and late into the day too. A lack of control over sleep makes it difficult to heal someone with depression.
7. Unexplained Body Aches
One of the most common symptoms of depression is body aches. A patient with depression tells the doctor of suffering from frequent headaches, backaches and so on.
While on the outside there is no apparent reason for these aches and pains, they are real and the body’s way of communicating that it is in pain and needs help.
8. Changes in Appetite Leading to Weight Gain or Loss
Often a major symptom of depression is a sudden change in appetite. He/she may stop feeling hungry and eat minuscule amounts of food leading to a drastic and unhealthy weight loss.
Otherwise, he/she may feel constantly hungry and eat a lot of food. Depressed people who see a marked increase in appetite most likely choose to eat food that is unhealthy for the body such as junk food, fried food and sweets. This leads to weight gain all of a sudden.
Depressed people are irritated easily and can stay cranky for long periods of time. It has been observed that men tend to be more irritated than women when suffering from depression. Their crankiness often takes the form of anger, taking unnecessary and unreasonable risks and drinking or substance abuse.
10. Slowed Thinking
Depression deeply affects the brain’s functioning. Even the brightest of minds feels the effects of depression. Their thinking is slowed and sometimes even tends to be irrational.
This symptom of depression causes difficulty in concentrating and hampers the decision-making ability of the patient. A definite slowdown in thinking makes it difficult for the person to communicate their thoughts and emotions to anyone in their life.
11. Suicidal Thoughts
Every year 700,000 people die of suicide in the world according to the WHO (World Health Organisation). One of the leading causes of suicide is depression. Depressed people think of death and suicide on a regular basis. Suicidal thoughts and thinking of death as the ultimate escape route from the pains of life is a MAJOR symptom of depression.