Signs Symptoms of Depression

What are some of the typical signs symptoms of depression and anxiety?

Everyone goes through highs and lows from time to time, and the lows are characterised by feelings of irritability, tiredness, negative emotions, and crying spells. Therefore, it is normal for people to feel depressed sometimes. But the natural tendency of the human body and mind is to get over it. However, in the case of clinical depression, the situation is quite different.

Clinical depression lasts for a prolonged period of time, ranging from several months to years, exhibiting certain physical symptoms, and people suffering from clinical depression start isolating themselves from the rest of the world. Some of the typical signs and symptoms of clinical depression are as described below.

Emotional signs symptoms of depression include the following:

  • Feeling sad, hopeless, and helpless, characterized by a predominantly negative and pessimistic attitude and approach towards various issues, tasks, and people. This is accompanied by uncontrollable crying spells for the simplest of reasons.
  • Highly irritable, frustrated and dissatisfied with situations and people; waiting to throw in the towel and constantly expecting the worst.
  • No enthusiasm towards any recreational or pleasure activities, characterized by isolating oneself and showing no interest in doing regular and routine tasks at home or at work.
  • Lack of self-confidence and self-esteem; marked by constant fear of failure and rejection. People suffering from clinical depression find it extremely difficult to handle regular and routine tasks independently. They either lose interest or lack the confidence to start something and see it through completion. There is an exaggerated and overriding fear of trying to get anything done.
  • Feelings of self-loathing and self-hatred will rise to disproportionate levels and people suffering from severe depression will contemplate suicide; thoughts of ending their life will become a serious preoccupation.

Physical signs symptoms of depression include the following:

  • Marked loss of appetite is one of the more common physical symptoms of depression in people suffering from clinical depression; however, certain types of depression are marked by bouts of overeating characterized by sudden increase or decrease in weight.
  • Insomnia or lack of sleep accompanied by increased stress and fatigue as a result of sleep deprivation experienced over a prolonged period of time, ranging from a few weeks to several months. Some people, however, experience sleepiness or symptoms of too much sleep, as in cases of atypical depression.
  • Another of the physical signs symptoms of depression is sluggish or slow body movements and total negligence towards personal hygiene. People suffering from depression sometimes refuse to take care of themselves and stop caring for themselves.
  • Lack of concentration, memory, and learning disabilities, too, are characteristic of people suffering from depression. They will appear to be preoccupied by certain thoughts and emotions and will not pay attention to what is being spoken or said to them unless told extremely slowly and carefully. People who are depressed find it very difficult to focus on any one particular issue or topic for a sustained period of time.

Physical depression warning signs of people suffering from the condition become evident when they start showing signs of rebelliousness, nervousness, cutting themselves out of regular friends and family circles, and cultivating habits of substance and alcohol abuse.

These warning signals can be serious signs symptoms of depression, and are a sure sign of things spiralling out of control. In children and teenagers, this is a definite sign of underlying causes like child abuse, fear of being abandoned, loss of a parent or sibling, etc,

When one notices out-of-the-ordinary behaviour, characterized by frequent temper tantrums, prolonged silences, and lack of interest in day-to-day activities, one must take it seriously, speak to the person, offer support and get professional help. This should then be followed by regular and close follow-up.

People belonging to different age groups exhibit different signs symptoms of depression. For example, while children get cranky, angry, and quiet, teenagers become extremely rebellious and take to drugs and alcohol. Adults and elderly people, on the other hand, express symptoms of social isolation and predominant lack of interest in routine and daily activities.

These typical signs of depression are useful indicators to help in diagnosing depression. For a formal diagnosis, however, professional help would have to be sought.

More information on the varying symptoms and signs for different types of depression and different groups of people are available on the following pages.










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