When people are feeling sad, they often think of it as feeling depressed. But feeling sad is not the same as being depressed.
Clinical depression is a lot more severe than sadness. It’s also more complex.
How do you know if you are suffering from depression or not? Depression has a number of symptoms, and I’m going to cover them in detail.
First of all . . .
1. Hopeless Outlook
Clinical depression has a negative effect on your outlook on life. This is known as negative cognition. It is the most common symptom of depression.
A hopeless outlook can lead to feelings such as low self-esteem, low self-worth and irrational guilt.
2. Loss of Interest
Depression can cause a loss of interest in things you used to enjoy. This is a very common symptom. This loss of interest often includes decreased libido (sex drive). In some cases this results in impotence.
Such a joyless existence can make depression worse, as well as your outlook on life.
3. Fatigue and Sleep Problems
Lack of energy and fatigue are common symptoms of depression. They are also two of the most debilitating. Not surprisingly, they are partly responsible for loss of interest in things. Lack of energy and fatigue can lead to sleeping too much as well.
Insomnia is another common symptom of depression. In fact, they can make each other worse. Poor sleep quality can also contribute to anxiety.
Clinical depression often leads to anxiety. The insomnia often caused by depression will make it even worse. Symptoms of anxiety include:
- feeling nervous, restless or tense
- sense of impending danger or doom
- palpitations (increased heart rate)
- hyperventilation (rapid breathing)
- trouble concentrating
- excessive worry
- urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety
5. Changes in Appetite and Weight
Depression can cause changes in appetite, and therefore weight. For some, appetite will increase and they will gain weight. For others, appetite will decrease and they will lose weight.
The degree to which appetite changes varies from person to person. Likewise, the change in weight as a result of appetite change will vary. Everyone is different.
6. Uncontrollable Emotions
Depression can sometimes cause uncontrollable emotions. This can happen for no apparent reason, and without warning. It can be anything from a sudden outburst of anger, to crying uncontrollably.
Likewise, depression can also cause mood swings. These are rapid changes in mood, and can be significant when caused by depression.
7. Suicidal Thoughts
Clinical depression can lead to suicidal thoughts. That’s hardly surprising. Your outlook is hopeless, you have no interest in anything, and nothing gives you pleasure. It’s a pretty miserable existence.
Depression also has a way of taking hold of your mind. It changes how you think. In a way, it’s like to the negative cognition I mentioned earlier.
Put all of this together, and you have a breeding ground for suicidal thoughts. Obviously, not everyone with depression takes their own life. But it’s a sure sign you are suffering from this illness.
I’ve covered the following 7 depression symptoms:
- hopeless outlook
- loss of interest
- fatigue and sleep problems
- changes in appetite and weight
- uncontrollable emotions
- suicidal thoughts
You should now have a good idea whether or not you have depression. If you think you have it, or even if you’re not sure, go and see your doctor. Regardless of the severity of the symptoms, depression is a serious illness.
Don’t put it off. Make an appointment with your doctor ASAP.