Identifying Depression

Depression is said to be a mental illness that affects a person’s feeling, disposition and productivity – and the most visible or prominent symptom of depression is a gloomy disposition – prolonged sadness. Momentary sadness triggered by a difficult situation, death of a loved one, loss of job or failed relationship, doesn’t necessarily symbolize depression – it is part of the grieving process. However, when the feeling of sadness exceeds two weeks, it’s no longer normal – the individual could be diagnosed as depressed.

Depression has specific symptoms, some of which are physical, behavioural, cognitive and emotional in nature. The following are some warning signs to watch out for:
1. Lack of desire and pleasure for things once enjoyed
2. Feeling of total worthlessness or guilt
3. A feeling of unhappiness, anger, irritability or anxiety
4. Sleeplessness (insomnia
5. Feeling of total hopelessness
6. Fatigue: Absence of physical strength.
7. Self-withdrawal from normal life activity
8. Loss of appetite or over eating – significant weight loss or gain.
9. Feeling of inferiority complex or self-reproach
10. Change in bowel habits.
11. Inability to concentrate or indecisiveness.
12. Aches and pains (with no known medical record

One suffering from depression may feel tired, sad, irritable, lazy, unmotivated, and apathetic. While many others “feel sad for no reason”, or “have no motivation to do anything.” Other symptoms often reported but not usually taken into account in diagnosis include:
• Self loathing
• A decrease in self esteem i.e. poor self perception
• Inattention to personal hygiene
• Sensitivity to noise
• Physical aches and pains, and the belief these may be signs of serious illness
• Fear of ‘going mad’ or having mental disorder
• Change in perception of time loosing touch with reality
• Periods of sobbing
• Possible behavioral changes, such as aggression and/or irritability

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you could be suffering from a depressive disorder, hence it advised that you get professional help.

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