Signs of Depression
The words ‘depressed’, ‘sad’ and ‘low’ are often used interchangeably. Sometimes, a significant negative event such as a break-up or losing a job can make one feel sad more intensely and for a longer period of time. This feeling usually passes with time or a change in circumstances. However, sometimes it could turn into a more intense experience that no longer seems related to external events. It might become increasingly difficult to cope with one’s emotions and daily functioning begins to get affected. This could be depression. Some of the most common signs of depression are given below.
A generalised and intense sadness:
When we are sad, we know the reason for our sadness. Depression is not just being sad for a particular period in time. Depression tends to generalise the emotion of sadness towards all things in the life of the individual. It becomes increasingly difficult to feel happy, and feelings of anger, anxiety and guilt take over completely.
Overwhelming negative thoughts:
Depression is an ongoing and intense feeling of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness. A depressed individual might feel like they are in a void, a bottomless pit of infinite negative energy and thoughts. Their minds are inclined to perceive things negatively, ‘never’ or ‘always’ are terms that get associated with every event, and it becomes increasingly difficult to hold on to anything optimistic.
Withdrawal from social situations:
A person with depression will often speak about not wanting to wake up, not wanting to interact with people and even blaming themselves for the misfortune of others. Parties are not fun anymore, attending lectures is a task and even stepping out of the house can be exhausting. The idea of this can be so overwhelming that they might avoid socialising completely, sleep, do nothing or be occupied with their negative feelings throughout the day.
Loss of interest:
One of the earliest signs of depression is that an individual loses interest in activities that they enjoyed before, for instance going for a run or reading books. A person experiencing depression might avoid doing things, as everything seems exhausting and nothing gives them pleasure like before. This inability to engage in activities in turn worsens their mood and lowers self-esteem.
Depression often causes issues in concentration and memory, and impair the ability to make decisions. It can also result in slowed speech and movement, multiple and varying aches and pains, loss of sex drive, loss or gain of appetite, changes in weight, disruption in sleep patterns, substance abuse, and a constant feeling of tiredness despite seemingly having done nothing.
These symptoms could vary in terms of presentation and intensity among people with depression. It is important to consult with a mental health professional in order to better understand and manage these symptoms.
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