Hey Optimist Minds!
Depression is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. It impacts your self-image, thoughts about others and the world, and ability to function. An individual with depression cannot be their authentic self and struggle to lead a healthy life.
It causes a lack of energy and interest, leaving you disconnected from your surroundings and possibly withdrawn from the people who care about you. Once someone has developed clinical depression, the first step towards recovery is to recognise it.
In this video, we will talk about seven common symptoms of depression. If you find that many of these are what’s affecting you, we recommend that you consult a mental health professional immediately. Please note that the information shared here is only meant to be a self-assessment and cannot replace the official diagnosis of a licensed therapist.
Now, let’s begin.
Disturbances in sleep.
Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Alternatively, do you sleep excessively even during the day?
One of the first changes you’ll notice if you have depression is how it affects your sleep. In some cases, depression decreases the amount of sleep a person gets. You might stay up till late at night, fall asleep for a few hours and then wake up much earlier than you wanted to.
For others, depression brings an excess of sleep. This is when people feel they can escape their lives by sleeping and dreaming.
Changes in appetite.
Another physiological change brought by depression is in the individual’s appetite. On the one hand, you might lose interest in eating or not feel hungry at all.
On the other hand, it can be the opposite, where you eat a lot more than usual. In this case, the kind of food you eat will probably be comfort food or rich foods that aren’t the best for your health.
Depression can cause dramatic weight changes in people because of this symptom.
Difficulty making decisions.
Do you feel too confused or exhausted to decide things?
Based on your severity of depression, it can be pretty tough to make choices. At first, it may seem like you’re putting off the decision more than you used to. But with increased severity, this difficulty becomes greater till it reaches the point where you can’t make decisions at all anymore.
These can be important decisions like your next career move or seemingly insignificant ones like what food to order. Each choice elicits a period of overthinking.
Feelings of guilt.
Many people suffering from depression report overwhelming feelings of guilt. This can be if the recent event that triggered the onset of depression was something that made you feel inadequate.
It can also be because of a series of experiences in your life that made you feel like you didn’t do enough or aren’t good enough. It’s not unusual to feel like you’re being punished when you’re depressed. These feelings can lead to disappointment in yourself and disproportionately self-blaming thoughts.
Loss of interest in activities.
When you’re depressed, you no longer feel like doing the things that used to make you happy. The clinical term for this symptom is anhedonia. You might stop engaging in a hobby, withdraw yourself from your social circles, and not want to step out of your room.
It can also feel like an inability to get out of bed in the morning. You don’t seem to see any point in getting on with the day.
Persistently sad mood.
The central component in the experience of depression is an unshakable feeling of melancholy, which was the traditionally used word for extreme cases of depression.
You tend to feel intense and pensive sadness without an identifiable cause. It may cause sudden and frequent crying outbursts. But in severe cases, you might find it hard to cry even though you want to.
A lot of people reach out for help for their depression when they realise that they’ve been contemplating death. Suicidal thoughts and self-harm activities are typical behaviours for individuals with depression.
When you feel so helpless and hopeless about yourself, others, and the world, it’s not surprising to want to die. But more often than not, the impulse to attempt suicide is more about wanting an escape or relief from suffering than it is about death.
Did these common symptoms remind you of yourself or someone you know? Do you think depression might have something to do with it? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments. We’d love to hear from you!
A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.
Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.