Last week’s blog covered “What is depression”.  In this article, we look at the symptoms.  As already stated previously “major depression” is different from “low mood”. We may all at some time experience some of the symptoms shown below.  However, if you have more than 3 of them at any one time and they last for 2 or more weeks then it is likely that you do have major depression and need help.

The list below of the symptoms of depression is not exclusive and you may notice other feelings or actions that indicate that you are suffering and need support.  The first port of call should always be your GP; following that you may want to seek other complimentary help such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Hypnosis.

Symptoms of Depression

Below are things people who are classed as depressed say how they feel or act:

  1. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A dark and glum attitude, feeling that nothing will ever get brighter and there’s nothing you can personally do to feel better.
  2. A failure to participate in activities. No interest in things you used to enjoy for example meeting friends socially, partaking in hobbies or losing your ability to enjoy sex or to feel happiness in anything.
  3. Appetite or weight changes. Losing pounds or gaining them without trying -a change either way of more than 5% in a month.  Not bothering to cook for yourself or eat.
  4. Sleep changes. Finding it hard to get to sleep; waking up throughout the night, or waking in the early hours of the morning. On the contrary, you may sleep much more than you used to. This is a sign of avoidance, i.e. you do not have to face your gloom and despair when you are asleep.
  5. Anger or irritability. Feeling worked up, restless, or even aggressive. Your patience is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  6. Loss of energy. Feeling tired, lethargic, and exhausted. Your entire body may feel heavy, and even small jobs make you feel fatigued or take ages to complete.
  7. Critical-self. Putting ourselves down, self-criticism, blaming ourselves for events or situations that are not (totally) our responsibility. Not feeling worthwhile and having no belief in our abilities.
  8. Irresponsible behaviour. You engage in escapist behaviour such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, and reckless driving, over drinking or dangerous sports.
  9. Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  10. Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

Other things depressed people may say include “I do everything slowly”, “I feel sad, depressed and unhappy”. “I feel empty, more dead than alive”, I have stopped caring about how I look”, “I have crying spells or cannot stop crying”.

In Part 3 next week, we will discover the possible causes of depression.

As I said earlier your first port of call should always be your GP.  Following that if you would like additional complimentary help then do call Leigh on 01908 265410; or e-mail leigh@setyourmindfree.co.uk, you are welcome to come along for a free 30-minute initial consultation. 

For further information visit www.setyourmindfree.co.uk