You could tell me that there was a hundred million dollars just waiting on my doorstep for me to go and collect it, or you could tell me that every single person I cared about had been caught up in a massive explosion and that they were all dead. And it wouldn’t make one iota of difference to the way I’m feeling when I’m in an episode.
But there are many signs and symptoms of depression, and sometimes they come on so gradually that people hardly notice the change.
If you’re wondering whether you or someone you know might have depression consider whether any of these apply. If you have many of them for most of the day, and this has been going on for more than a couple of weeks, it’s something that might be worth mentioning to your GP.
Psychological symptoms include:
- continuous low mood or sadness
- feeling hopeless and helpless
- having low self-esteem
- feeling tearful
- feeling guilt-ridden
- feeling irritable and intolerant of others
- having no motivation or interest in things
- finding it difficult to make decisions
- not getting any enjoyment out of life
- having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
- feeling anxious or worried
Physical symptoms include:
- Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
- change in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
- unexplained aches and pains
- lack of energy or lack of interest in sex
- changes to your menstrual cycle
- disturbed sleep (for example, finding it hard to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning)
Social symptoms include:
- not doing well at work
- taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends
- neglecting your hobbies and interests
- having difficulties in your home and family life
People don’t all experience depression in the same way. It can vary in severity from mild depression, which has some impact on your life, to moderate depression, which causes significant problems, through to severe depression, where it can be almost impossible to function.
Mild depression can progress to be become moderate or even severe depression, and severe depression can be a life threatening illness. So if you think that you might have depression it’s definitely worth speaking to your GP sooner, rather than later.
Understanding Depression (mind.org.uk)
Isolating: First Symptom of Depression and Suicidal Ideation (christiancopingwithsuicide.com)
Depression – why it was never about sadness. (halfwaybetweenthegutter.wordpress.com)
Source for symptoms: NHS Choices