How Can You Recognize the First Signs of Depression
If you feel depressed or sad without any reason for too long, you are not alone. There is a high chance you belong to 121 million people around the world who suffer from the symptoms of depression. According to Healthline, in the United States, 1 out of 10 citizens has major depression. About 80% of American people with depression even have no idea that they got this disorder. Overall, women are more prone to depression than men, though men may have more serious signs of depression.
What is depression?
It is normal to be sad or feeling depressed from time to time or during the emergency situations. The main causes of depression are the loss of a close person, inability to find a life goal, injured self-esteem, or certain life’s struggles. However, sometimes these feelings don’t go away, prevent from fulfilling the basic actions in everyday life, or cause serious troubles in personal or professional lifestyle.
The experts from Healthline and Mayo Clinic claim that the major depressive disorder is characterized by such symptoms:
- A depressed mood, especially in the morning;
- Loss of energy and fatigue on a daily basis;
- Feeling guilty or worthless every day;
- Lack of concentration or indecisiveness;
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping) on the daily basis;
- Having no interest or getting no pleasure from the hobbies or any activities at all;
- Constant thoughts about dying and suicide;
- Rapid weight loss or weight gain.
The recent studies held by the psychologists from the National Institute of Mental Health also claim that in some cases depression can be followed by such symptoms:
- Difficulty to focus;
- Pessimism or feelings of hopelessness;
- Overeating or appetite loss;
- Persistent aches or pains;
- Digestive problems that can’t be revealed with medications;
- Persistent sad/anxious/”empty” feelings.
The warning depression signs
Many people believe that depression can go away easily as soon as the things get better in a person’s life. However, without a timely depression test, the condition may worsen. Only a medical professional can diagnose depression by means of special tests and consultations. The main risk of depression is that it can cause suicidal thought and behavior.
Besides suicidal thoughts, there are other warning signs and symptoms of depression. According to the experts of Mayo Clinic, these signs are:
- A sudden switch from sadness to calmness or appeared happiness;
- Thinking or talking about death;
- Clinical depression (with such symptoms as loss of interest to anything, trouble eating and sleeping, deep sadness);
- Leaving a “death wish” and deliberately taking risks that can cause death;
- Changing a will and preparing for death;
- Saying the things like “I’ m going to leave” or “I want out”;
- Taking about killing yourself.
Call a suicidal hotline if you have these thoughts or you think that someone has these thoughts and signs. You need to contact a mental health professional if you have been diagnosed with depression before.
People with such symptoms need to seek the professional treatment for depression as soon as possible. They or their relatives may call a local hotline to prevent the possible complications.
Depression vs. Sadness: What is the Difference?
Many people mistakenly believe that they are depressed, while in fact they just have a bad day or being sad because of some life challenges. Feeling unhappy is not the same as being depressed. If you keep asking yourself “Do I have depression?”, the experts from the WebMD team explain the difference between these 2 similar but different conditions.
The long-term mood swings
Major depression can be characterized as a mood disorder that changes your attitude to life in general, while sadness is a temporary feeling that quickly goes away. The mood swings in depressed people last for months. Along with sadness, a depressed person may experience an inappropriate guilt, self-hate, worthlessness. He or she keeps asking “What is the point of living?”
The lost interest to hobbies
The nasty thing about depression is that it can quickly suck the joy out of your life. Sad people can easily overcome their sadness by doing some favorite activities. Depressed people lose interest to the things and activities that they used to like. And dealing with depression may take up to a few months.
Decreased sex drive
Low libido or impotence are the common symptoms of depression, especially in women. Sad people usually don’t experience such problem.
Constantly feeling tired or sleepy
Part of the reason why depressed people stop doing what they like is feeling tired all the time. A lack of energy is one of the most common signs of depression in women and men. An overwhelming feeling of lethargy may lead to oversleeping or insomnia. The lack of restful sleep may lead to anxiety and irritability.
Severe weight changes
People who are wondering how to fight depression also need to control their appetite. The thing is why depressed people are mostly too skinny or obese is that major depression can cause an increased appetite or complete loss of it.
Expecting the death
The scariest difference between sad and depressed people is that in the last case patients tend to wait for their death or even try committing suicide. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 50 000 of Americans commit suicide because of depression.
Postnatal depression: definition, symptoms and possible dangers
One of the most dangerous subtypes of major depression is postnatal depression that may affect women after giving birth to their children. According to Healthline, this type of depression may develop during the first months or can develop suddenly after the delivery. Here is how you can recognize the symptoms of postnatal depression:
- Constantly feeling sad or having a low mood;
- A loss of interest in the newborn baby or any favorite activities;
- Lack of energy that can’t be fixed with restful sleep;
- Trouble sleeping at night and then feeling sleepy throughout the day;
- Feeling irritated or very apathetic;
- Self-blame and feeling that you can’t be a good mother to your baby;
- Frightening thoughts like hurting your baby, though they are rarely acted upon.
Women with the symptoms of postnatal depression can be harmful to themselves and their children. An emergency medical attention is required if you or someone close to you have these symptoms.
When and how can you get the professional depression help?
If you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms for more than 2 weeks, you may have the first signs of depression. Seek a medical assistance to get the professional depression help as soon as possible. You can call the local hotline for depressed people or visit a therapist.
Depression is not a shameful condition, in fact, millions of people who suffer from depression could significantly improve the qualities of their lives by following the simple medical guidelines and regularly consulting a psychotherapist.