Everyone goes through rough times where we feel sad or down in the dumps. Actually, it’s pretty normal to feel that way on occasion. Crying can be cathartic and beneficial, allowing us to release all the negative stuff that is causing us to feel bad.
However, when depression seems to be going nonstop and the patient just can’t snap out of it no matter how hard he or she tries, then that probably signifies depression. Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in America. It has been reported that about 9.5 million Americans suffer from depression almost every six months. You should remember that depression does not choose a victim as it could practically affect anyone whatever social status or race.
It is important that we know the signs of depression so that we can deal with it and have it alleviated. If the following signs have been going on for more than two weeks, then you should seek professional help.
- The person has drastic change of appetite. If the person suddenly gains weight or plummets to a stick-thin figure, then chances are he might be depressed. This is just one sign that has to correspond with other signs to validate the existence of depression.
- He suddenly has a sudden change in sleeping patterns. The person could be a sound sleeper his entire life and then suddenly, experiences insomnia and other sleeping problems. This could be a symptom that depression is lurking.
- The person suddenly loses interest in things and activities he used to enjoy. If a person had been passionate about an activity, e.g., basketball, and then suddenly makes a 360 degree turn, that could be a symptom of depression.
- There is energy loss and presence of fatigue. You may see an apparent change in attitude. The person does not want to actively participate in activities. Energy is seeped from him and when asked what the matter is, he could only shrug and retreat back to his sadness.
- The person feels he is unworthy. This is when depression can be moving into a serious mode. The person begins to feel that he has nothing to live for and unworthy of being loved and appreciated.
- The person starts losing hope. Gone is his optimism to live another day. He is already hopeless and no amount of “hope springs eternal” can pull him out of this rut.
- The person feels guilty without any reason at all. The person stops himself from being happy because he feels he has no right to be one. He harbors guilt for no apparent reason.
- He becomes indecisive. What used to be a firm decision-maker suddenly becomes fickle-minded and too indecisive. Depression occurs when one is too insecure to come up with decisions.
- He is suicidal. This is such an alarming sign that medical help must be provided as soon as possible.
- He experiences melancholia. Melancholia is that sadness that completely engulfs the person and is characterized by the following: waking up two hours earlier than the usual, languidly moving in the morning and walking slowly.
- He becomes mentally disturbed. He suddenly thinks of morbid things, detaches himself from his usual mindset and starts hallucinating.
- He develops physical aches. A depressed person gets stomachaches or muscle pains with no physiological basis at all.
- He obtains that “My life is passing by” feeling. Other than assimilating the “Life is unfair!” and “what has gone wrong?” drama, a clinically depressed person also feels that he is just simply watching his life deteriorating from afar.
- The person becomes antisocial. A depressed person is likely to isolate himself from his family and friends. But there is also a case when a depressed person gets so frightened being alone that he clings to people all the time. However, no amount of social involvement makes him feel better.
Depression, if not seriously taken and treated, would lead to more severe mental illnesses or even death. Everyone has to know the signs and symptoms so the next time he has a hunch that a loved one is currently suffering depression, he could immediately ask a doctor to administer professional assistance.