Your dog has an accident on the rug. The car breaks down halfway home from work. The bank calls and your auto deposit didn’t clear. It’s a horrid day– but it is only one day. Tomorrow will be better. That’s what the “normal” person experiences. The person who suffers from depression feels that they have that horrid day every day. It doesn’t go away tomorrow, or the next day, or even the next. Depression symptoms can last for more than 3 weeks and in most cases do not go away without being treated. Sadly, many people do not recognize that they are suffering from depression. Fortunately, there are clear signs of depression that warns a person to act.
Depression can affect different people in different ways. The symptoms may be mental, physical, both, or they may be something you don’t recognize as depression.
Knowing and seeing the signs of depression is imperative in order to get the treatment that you need or provide it for a loved one. Whether in yourself or in someone that you know, if you see these signs, it is time for an intervention.
- Anger or Hostility.–When depressed, people often feel agitated and very restless. They can and sometimes do become violent. According to Dr. Bosman anger can be a sign of depression and can also contribute to depression. When it is not addressed, the result can be passive/aggressive behavior or it can be a violent explosion. Make sure that you’re discussing any conflicts that you have and if you sense someone is reaching the boiling point, it may be time to encourage them to seek out help to address the hostility.
- Self-Critical Behavior– if you have people who are depressed, sometimes their little inner voice can be far more critical of them than it might be of someone else. Self-critical people may also become depressed. The people who are the most self-critical and the hardest on themselves often become depressed or mildly depressed in the next four or five years. Being more positive and combating self-criticism may be helpful in addressing or even preventing depression.
- Severe Fatigue –In many cases those who are depressed may experience a lack of sleep or have changes in their sleep. Due to this, they are going to be easily able to explain their lack of energy and the long term fatigue. If you’re finding that you’re always tired and that you simply have no energy at all, then it’s time to do something about it. You may be affected by depression or you may be affected by something else. Depression can cause inflammation, it can cause problems in the way that you sleep and it can take a lot of energy away from you. If you’re experiencing these things, see a doctor and find out why.
- No Interest in Fun or Usual Activities. In many cases, those who are depressed don’t have any interest in things that they have always loved. If they enjoy creating computer graphics or like writing or enjoy reading or watching movies, but all of the sudden won’t do any of those things, it may be a sign of depression that needs to be addressed. People lose interest in many things that they have always enjoyed and won’t spend time with family or friends, go shopping or other things that they like. Losing interest in these things can see them more isolated and this, in turn, will promote more depression. If you are losing interest in the things that you love or see someone else losing interest in those things, it’s time to address the problem with some therapy or a visit to your doctor.
- Major weight loss or weight gain –If you’re fluctuating with your weight and it is changing more than five percent in a month, the chances that you’re depressed are very good. Some people lose interest in food while others find that food is a good way to help them to feel better and may give them that feeling if a small high so they eat more. If your weight has gone up or done more than five percent in one month, take some time to find out why. Examine whether or not you may be suffering from depression.
Each of these symptoms may, of course, be addressed and be found to be something entirely different but in many cases, they are part and parcel of depression that should not be ignored.
For the most part, you know when you are depressed and if you have been depressed. Sometimes in short-term depression, you are capable of helping yourself and getting your depression out of the way but in some cases, you cannot correct the depression and you need some help from a professional. Don’t wait and hope that you will regain your interest or feel better– get the assistance you need.