Although many of us may feel depressed from time to time, depression becomes an illness when this feeling lasts for over two weeks, and starts to interfere with everyday life. If you're trying to figure out whether you're just going through a low patch, or whether this could be something more serious, take a look at some of the most common symptoms of depression.
Signs That You May Be Depressed
Physical symptoms: Although many people consider depression as something affecting the mind, it does affect the body, too. As such, you can experience a whole range of symptoms from a lack of energy, to difficulty falling asleep, changes in your appetite, a loss of sexual desire, or even just aches and pains that you can't explain in any other way.
Mental symptoms: You may be a little more familiar with some of the mental symptoms. Some of the common ones include feelings of sadness, tearfulness, or even thoughts of suicide. Some other mental symptoms include a lack of interest in things you'd usually enjoy, low self esteem and indecisiveness.
Social life: Many people also find their social life suffering as a result of their depression. You may not want to spend as much time with others, or could find yourself struggling at work. It can be difficult to maintain regular friendships or hobbies when you have a lack of interest in day to day life activities.
Events leading to depression: While not symptoms of depression, looking at recent events in your life may help to explain your feelings. For example, you may have recently gone through a break up, or perhaps you're grieving from the loss of a loved one. Although you'll experience symptoms of depression, this kind of depression is different to the ongoing illness.
Remember, depression can range from mild to severe, so it may be obvious that you're suffering from it, or it may be that the realization that something's wrong gradually creeps up on you as you notice that your life isn't going quite “right”.
What Should You Do If You Think You're Depressed?
If you recognize any of these symptoms of depression in yourself, you should talk to a doctor about what you're going through. They will be able to direct you towards appropriate treatments, which can include a number of different self help measures.
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