Hi, thank you for taking the time to learn a little more about depression. In truth, depression can affect people in many different ways and not all of the signs or symptoms are always there. As a general overview, here are some of the well-known and not so well-known facts surrounding the condition.
Signs and Symptoms
Not all of these signs and symptoms appear in every case but here are the main ones that doctors tend to look out for:
- persistent sadness or low mood.
- lessened enjoyment in various things.
- losing interest in life.
- difficulty with decision-making.
- not coping with things that were once easy.
- restlessness and agitation.
- loss of appetite or weight.
- sleep problems.
- loss of sex drive.
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Everyone’s Depression is Different
Reading that, you may think that it’s obvious but it’s surprising how many people don’t know that depression is different for everyone. Some people may experience a handful of the symptoms I’ve mentioned, others might experience them all. Depression can manifest itself in many different ways and, as such, there are many different treatments for it. No two stories are completely the same.
Having chatted to various people about depression, I think this is the one thing people tend to miss. Many people will tell you what worked for them and encourage you to try it for that reason. I’ve had many conversations concerning potential techniques only to try them and find they don’t work for me. Just as we are all unique individuals, our depressions are unique too.
- Depression distorts your thinking – when you’re depressed, it’s easy for you to fall into a mind trap where your mind plays tricks on you. Things that you wouldn’t normally consider – self-harm or suicide, for example – can become options for you. Not always but it’s a possibility.
- Depression is experienced as anxiety 65% of the time.
- Can cause persistent irritability – not normally something people notice but it’s been known to produce that effect.
- Chronic pain can be a cause – most people emphasise that it’s a mental illness, which means they can miss the physical. Being in continual discomfort can actually cause depression. Sometimes it’s difficult to know which came first.
- Alcohol is a depressant – to me, this one is a classic. The stereotypical depressed person will be drowning their sorrows in a pub somewhere in half the movies, right? Well actually alcohol is a depressant so actually makes it all feel worse.
- Choice is involved – people don’t choose to become depressed. However, they can choose what to do with it.
- Exercise helps – something as simple as walking for 30 minutes can help alleviate the symptoms.
Take a Look Around
Thanks for checking out some of the symptoms and facts surrounding depression. If you haven’t already, have a look at my journey to see which symptoms manifested themselves in me and what coping strategies I used to tackle them, for good or for worse. Alternatively, check out our mythbuster page to explore some of the common misconceptions surrounding depression.
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