If you are unhappy, it is not necessarily mean that you are depressed. Depression is a term that has become very loose in its use nowadays. Most often, if people are having a bad day or a bad week, they say they are feeling depressed. Some may even go ahead and say that they are suffering from depression. However, this is not one of the signs of depression. Depressive disorder is very different from just feeling sad. In this article, I will be discussing what exactly it is and the signs of depression.
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There are times in our lives when we feel that we are stuck in a deep dark hole, and there is no way out. However, in most cases, we feel better by the next day or in a couple of days. If the constant feeling of hopelessness, despair, and numbness does not go away, there is a chance that you may be suffering from depression. Depression is a lot more than sadness or a response to difficult situations in life. Depression has the potential to change how a person sees and perceives things. It also changes how people function or go through their daily activities.
Depression is considered a mental health issue because it impedes the person from living in normal life. It acts as a setback to a person’s ability to eat sleep, study, enjoy life, hang out with friends, socialize with people, etc. For such people, getting through one single day can be extremely overwhelming.
Some people may describe the feeling of being stuck in a hole as a feeling of complete helplessness. Others may feel that they are waiting for something bad to happen. In the case of men, they mostly feel restless and angry. While in the case of women, they feel helpless, hopeless, and stuck in despair.
Depression is something that must be treated at the earliest. If the signs of depression are allowed to fester, it can turn into a serious health issue. The feelings of hopelessness and helplessness are signs of depression. It in no way reflects your life or the reality of the situation where you’re stuck in.
Treatment is possible
Getting out of depression is possible. You may require some guidance and help from a mental health practitioner. However, the first step in getting rid of depression is recognizing that you are suffering from depression. In this article, I will be discussing the different signs of depression. If you have over 70% of these signs, there is a high chance that you are suffering from depression.
If you are confused about your symptoms, you can either get in touch with me. I stream every day on Twitch from 11 am to 7 pm (Indian standard time). I mostly do co-working streams. However, if you need help with the diagnosis, I can help you out with that. If you are sure that you are facing a depression disorder, I will urge you to go and consult a psychologist. Depression is not something that is untreatable. It takes time and patience, but it can be treated. However, you must take action right now, and you need to approach a psychologist as soon as possible so that the treatment can begin.
Understanding the signs of depression
All of us are different from one another. What one person feels may not be the same as what someone else may feel. We all handle situations differently. Our brain perceives every situation in a different manner from the other person. Therefore, the signs of depression in every person may also vary slightly from one another. Certain signs and symptoms may also be common among most people.
A constant feeling of doom
People who have a constant feeling of doom repeatedly get the feeling that something bad is about to happen in their life. Even if their life has a good phase, their brain will always tell them that their good thing will soon be followed by something really bad. Their life is about to go down a rabbit hole from which they will not be able to recover. Basically, they are constantly waiting for bad things to happen to them and are not ready to accept the good things that might be happening in their life. This constant feeling of doom can take a heavy toll on the mind.
If a person is suffering from major depressive no disorder, they tend to wonder
- What it is they are living for.
- Why are they working so hard? What’s the point?
- What is the meaning of life itself?
Such people come up with negative answers to the above-mentioned questions. They develop a hopeless and negative outlook toward life. If you meet someone who tells you that they don’t even know what they are doing or why they are doing it, it is one of the signs of depression. The other common feelings that such people may feel are guilt, self-hate, worthlessness, etc. One very common pattern that reoccurs in such patients is the repeated questioning of the significance of life and their role in general.
Loss of interest
Another very common sign of depression is a loss of interest in regular activities. Activities that once made the person happy do not seem to incite even an iota of excitement. If the person enjoys playing chess, video games, engaging in sports, walking outdoors, etc., when depression sets in, people generally start to lose interest in the activities they have always enjoyed. If you notice that your loved one is showing withdrawal from their favorite activities like biking, cycling, driving, hiking, etcetera, it is a huge red flag that the person might be suffering from a major depressive disorder. Another red flag is a lot of interest in sex. Sometimes, Search people may even exhibit impotence or reduced sex drives.
When we have something stressful in our minds, we find it hard to sleep. The same factor occurs with people who suffer from depression as well. They are constantly in stress, constantly worried about the future, questioning every life decision, and finally, wondering what’s the importance of life itself. Depression also causes body aches, anxiety, and tremors. These factors can also make it difficult for a person to have a peaceful sleep. In some cases, insomnia has also led to depression. Therefore, one can say that depression and insomnia are kind of interrelated.
In many cases, people who suffer from depression also display symptoms of anxiety. Many times, depression and anxiety have been observed to occur together. The most common symptoms of anxiety in people with depression are
- Feelings of panic, dread, or danger
- Increased heart rates
- Increased breathing
- Heavy sweating
- Trembling muscles
- Feeling tense or nervous
- Trouble focusing or thinking clearly about anything other than the problem
Irritability and increase in anger
In males, one of the common symptoms of depression is increase in irritability and anger response. In most cases, genders also have a role to play in a person’s reaction toward what they are feeling. Depression tends to bring out the anger factor in men. They tend to become more irritable and get angry quickly over small instances if they are suffering from a major depressive disorder.
Changes in weight and appetite
When something is constantly weighing down on your head, it can be harder to focus on your day-to-day activities. One of these daily activities is your daily diet. Most people land up ignoring their need to eat on proper time and eating healthy food. A lot of people either start eating more or start eating less. Both of these can have a negative effect on your health. The weight and appetite tendencies can vary depending on the person. Some people show an increased appetite level while others may show reduced appetite levels. Those with increased appetite levels may gain weight, while those with reduced appetite may lose it.
In case you notice that your loved one is losing appetite unintentionally. It can be one of the signs of depression. If the person is losing appetite intentionally, it may be a sign of another mental health disorder called Anorexia Nervosa.
People with depression often have stages when they are sad and unhappy without reason. They may also start to feel angry with no apparent cause. At another moment, they may start to cry. If you ask such people why they are crying, they will tell you that they are not really aware of what set off such high emotions in them.
This happens because depression causes severe mood swings. If a person exhibits high levels of mood swings, psychologists are often confused when diagnosing because high levels of mood swings are also observed in bipolar disorder. However, in the case of depression, mood swings are accompanied by other factors like insomnia, irritability, anger issues, anxiety, etc.
A very common factor that has been observed in people suffering from depression is that they stop feeling good about themselves. They enter a spiral of self-hate. In many cases, such people find it hard to look at themselves in the mirror. They may also feel that they are the bane or root cause of every problem in their own life. This can get aggravated further if they are in a non-supporting environment. If their parents or loved ones also tell them that they are responsible for their own problems, this will increase the self-loathing behavior in such people.
Viewpoint towards death
In many cases, suicide is associated with depression. When people do not understand where they can go from their current state in life, leaving everything behind and ending it seems like a viable option. However, ending everything is never the right way to go. Depression is not a permanent state. It is curable. All you have to do is to reach out for help. Therefore, do not contemplate this route of action. If you notice that your friend or loved one is showing such signs, please contact the suicide prevention lifeline of your nation and get them the help they deserve.
Certain other things that you can do to prevent your loved one from acting on such a notion is to stay with them when they are feeling low. Keep every medication, knife, or anything that they can use to harm themselves away. Ask them to talk to you about what is bothering them. If they are open to discussion, then it’s alright. Otherwise, provide them with your full support and tell them that you are here when they are ready to talk. Offer to get them the help that they need.
Most people who suffer from depression stop focusing on themselves and start to live for momentary thrills. They stop caring about what is good and what is bad. All they care about is immediate happiness or relief. This attitude pushes such people towards engaging in reckless activities like excessive gambling, substance abuse, reckless driving, engaging in adventure sports, and not bothering about safety measures, etc. All they want is a moment’s gratification, and they will do anything to get it.
The one thing that you need to understand is that depression is not permanent. It is also not a phase. Please don’t tell your loved one (who is going through depression) that it is a phase and will go away with time. Depression requires careful counseling, regular therapy, and the involvement of self-help techniques.
If your loved one is suffering from depression, please be their support system. Guide them, help them and tell them that help is available. If and when they are ready, encourage them to go to a psychologist. Depression is treatable. Please do not let society get in the way of helping your loved one.
Have you ever taken counseling for depression? If you don’t mind sharing, I will take this opportunity to request you to share your anecdotes and recovery stories in the comment section below. Your stories of courage and betterment can help someone else ask for the help that they desperately need.
Address your queries
If you have any queries regarding mental health, this blog post, or any other on Guilt Free Mind, you can always reach me on Twitch. I live stream every day from 11 am to 7 pm (Indian standard time). I also host mental health sessions on Tuesdays and Fridays from 4:30 to 6:30 pm. Feel free to ask me your questions directly. Alternatively, you can also reach me on my other social media channels. I will be happy to help. If you wish to stay updated with all the latest blog posts, please subscribe to the Guilt Free Mind. If you like video content, please subscribe to the YouTube channel of Guilt Free Mind. Do not forget to ring the notification bell.
See you in my next blog post