We are all going to feel unhappy and sad at some point in our lives, but when these emotions stay and do not go away, it may be that you or a loved one could be suffering from depression. However, depression isn’t just about feeling sad. It’s much more than that.
So then what is depression?
Well, the US National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) defines depression as a “serious medical illness that affects one’s thoughts, feelings, behavior, mood and physical health” and that it’s a “life-long condition in which periods of wellness alternate with recurrences of illness.” In fact, NAMI estimated that in the year of 2009, “about 25 million Americans will have an episode of major depression”. Another interesting fact is that depression affects women more than men! NAMI states that it “occurs 70 percent more frequently in women than in men for reasons that are not fully understood.” When it is left untreated, the symptoms of depression can often become more severe. Let’s find out what they are.
The Symptoms of Depression
If you are wondering how you can spot someone that could be suffering from this mental illness, here are some of the most common symptoms of depression:
- Feeling Helpless and Useless: Those suffering from depression will often feel as if things will always stay the same, that nothing will improve and that nobody can help them.
- Neglecting Activities that Were Once Enjoyed: Those who are depressed will often tend to forget about the things that they enjoyed doing or participated in. It may be a hobby, going out with friends and family or even sex. It will feel as if the individual has lost their ability to have fun.
- Changes in Eating Habits and Body Weight: Noticing vast weight changes in a loved one that you suspect could be suffering from depression may be a sign that there is a problem present.
- Changes in Sleep Patterns: A depressed individual may regularly struggle to sleep at night, wake up constantly or may even snooze for longer than what they usually do.
- Aggression and Agitation: Those suffering from depression may often have a very short fuse and could lose their temper very quickly. It will feel as if everyone is irritating the individual.
- A Drop in Energy Levels: The individual may often feel tired or become exhausted very quickly. It will feel as if they’re carrying all the burdens of the world on their shoulders.
- Becoming Over Critical: A depressed individual may often become very critical about themselves. The person will be looking and blaming themselves unnecessarily for any faults or mistakes they might have made.
- Engaging in Dangerous Activities: In order to escape the depression, the individual may start engaging in dangerous and illegal activities such as using drugs or alcohol or driving at ridiculous speeds.
- Focus Issues: Those suffering from depression will have difficulty trying to concentrate or to make important decisions at work and at home.
- Strange Physical Pain: Depressed individuals may also experience a rise in the amount of aches and pains they experience. They may complain about headaches, muscle pain and even stomach pain.
If you can link these depression symptoms to yourself or someone you love, then it’s important to get help for them immediately.
If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, it’s important to get assistance as soon as possible as like we mentioned above, it’s a mental illness that will only get worse over time. Luckily for you, we want to help. We can provide you with access to the best depression clinics available for yourself or a loved one. Call us now and let us find one near you!