How to Know if You’re Depressed
Experiencing low moments from time to time is part of everyday life. During such low moments, it is normal to feel overwhelming sadness. This sadness usually fades with time. Nonetheless, it is common to find situations where people refer to such moments of sadness as being depressed. So how do you know that you’re depressed and not just feeling sad?
Whereas depressed people are often sad, feeling sad during a difficult period doesn’t necessarily translate to depression. Depression is described as a never-ending feeling of hopelessness and despair. If you’re depressed, there are specific symptoms you will have. Some of these symptoms may be common in low moments. It is their persistence and intensity that determine whether or not you’re dealing with a case of depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
1. Feeling hopeless and helpless.
You tend to feel like all hope is lost, and things will never get better. This is often accompanied by the feeling that you can’t do anything to help your situation.
2. Lost Interest.
Things that would usually excite you no longer do. You are unable to derive joy and pleasure from the things you love doing. Depression can even reduce the sex drive of a victim.
3. Fatigue and Sleep Issues.
Feeling an overwhelming lack of energy is another telltale sign of depression. Depression also causes insomnia, which tends to make the situation worse.
4. Appetite and weight changes.
Changes in appetite that ultimately lead to changes in body weight can be linked to depressions. Some people lose their appetite and end up losing body mass in the long run. Others experience an increase in appetite and, as a result, may end up gaining weight due to increased food consumed.
If these changes in appetite are a direct result of your current situation, they may be pointing out to depression.
5. Mood swings.
Depression is known to make your emotions change at a moment’s notice.
Depression isn’t a proven cause of anxiety. Nonetheless, these two conditions often coincide. Therefore, if you experience anxiety symptoms, you may also be suffering from depression.
7. Concentration problems.
If you’re experiencing depression, focusing, remembering, and decision making become problematic.
8. Escapist behavior.
People often try to avoid their problems. If you find yourself engaging in activities such as substance abuse to escape your thoughts, depression is the underlying course.
9. Suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Having suicidal thoughts is the saddest and scariest symptom of depression. Given the connection between depression and suicide, if you experience any suicidal thoughts, seeking help from professionals is highly recommended.
Dealing with depression can be quite challenging. Even though a lot of people go through depression at some point in their lives, depression varies between persons. If you’ve been experiencing most of the above symptoms for an extended period, seeking help is advised. The support can either be from close relations or professionals, depending on the severity of your case. Also, simple lifestyle changes such as diet changes, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep will ease the burden of depression.