What Are The Symptoms Of Depression
Depression can affect your emotions, mind and body. Depression symptoms include:
- Feeling very sad, hopeless or worried.
- Not enjoying things that used to give you joy.
- Being easily irritated or frustrated.
- Eating too much or too little.
- Changes in how much you sleep.
- Having a difficult time concentrating or remembering things.
- Experiencing physical problems like headache, stomachache or sexual dysfunction.
- Thinking about hurting or killing yourself.
If you or someone you know has thoughts of hurting themselves, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800.273.8255. This national network of local crisis centers provides free, private emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Feeling Depressed Or Suffering From Depression
We often get mixed up between low mood and unhappiness and depression. The two things are very different. Depression isnt about feeling unhappy, its feeling youll never be happy again, explains Colin Grange, Psychologist and Clinical Director of Lifeworks.
If youre feeling low, is it starting to interfere with your day to day life? Are you not doing things that you used to do? Are you losing motivation in and enjoyment of life? Are you starting to not enjoy your hobbies? Is everything becoming an effort?
People suffering from clinical depression often experience a range of symptoms both physical and emotional which can interfere with day to day life. Discovering whether you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms could be an important step towards getting the help you need.
Quiz: Am I depressed?
How To Tell If You Have Depression
Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
They range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.
There can be physical symptoms too, such as feeling constantly tired, sleeping badly, having no appetite or sex drive, and various aches and pains.
The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe. At its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.
Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.
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Books To Read When You Are Feeling Lonely:
1.Solitude: A Return to the Self
The author here beautifully shows the power of solitude in reinforcing our creativity by widening our view of self and the world around us. Your vision of feeling lonely is sure to change over time with this book!
Writers Tip: Have you ever noticed how our loneliness dives us into swiping through unhealthy content on social media which in turn feeds our subconscious? Then why not do the same with our books?
Even if you are not willingly ready to read any of the books on loneliness we just discussed, simply turn the pages. Your subconscious is sure to feed on the positive and healthy words. Good Luck!
If you are wondering how to turn loneliness into my best time, we will recommend you to watch our webinar on Boredom. Let us learn to turn our yawn times into our growth time!
Now that you have a list of things, what to do when you feel alone it is time to try them. If your loved one is experiencing the same feelings now you know the right gift to give them: This list of things to do when you feel alone. Show them that you care.
Dont forget to tell us in the comment section which of these activities helped you the most.
More power to you
Talk To A Doctor About How You’re Feeling
Get a medical checkup. Ask to see a doctor or nurse who can screen you for depression.
The doctor or nurse may also check to see if you have another health condition that can cause depression or make it worse. If you have one of these health conditions, its important to get treatment right away.
What about cost?
Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover screening for depression. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screened at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to find out more.
Also Check: How Long For Depression To Go Away
Why A Mental Health Professional Is Best
It’s very importantespecially if this is your first time seeking treatment for depressionthat you obtain a referral to a psychiatrist or other mental health professional if your general practitioner suspects depression.
Though your family doctor or general practitioner may offer to prescribe you an antidepressant, they are not always the best-qualified doctor to treat depression. They do not possess the training to offer you psychotherapy nor are they experienced in the nuances of prescribing psychotropic medications the way that a psychiatrist is.
Psychiatry is a blend of art and science. Treating depression is not quite as simple as giving someone a prescription for Zoloft or Prozac and sending them on their way. Some individuals will need several trials of different medications to find one that best relieves their symptoms with the least amount of side effects.
Some people will need more than one medication to counteract side effects or to boost positive effects. Most will likely benefit from adding psychotherapy to the mix. Discussing options with your psychiatrist will determine the best path.
Depression Discussion Guide
Besides the medication specifics, you may have a completely different mental health condition and not depression. Bipolar disorder is one such disorder that may be initially misdiagnosed as depression but requires a very different course of treatment.
What If I Don’t Know What To Say
Don’t wait to talk just because you’re not sure what to say. You can keep it simple. You can start just by saying, “Got a minute? I need to talk.” Then say what you’re going through. For example, “I’ve been feeling down a lot lately. I think I might be depressed.” The person you’re talking to might ask you to tell them more. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to get started talking.
Recommended Reading: What Happens To Your Body When You Are Depressed
What You Can Do To Feel Better
When youre depressed, it can feel like theres no light at the end of the tunnel. But there are many things you can do to lift and stabilize your mood. The key is to start with a few small goals and slowly build from there, trying to do a little more each day. Feeling better takes time, but you can get there by making positive choices for yourself.
Reach out to other people. Isolation fuels depression, so reach out to friends and loved ones, even if you feel like being alone or dont want to be a burden to others. The simple act of talking to someone face-to-face about how you feel can be an enormous help. The person you talk to doesnt have to be able to fix you. They just need to be a good listenersomeone wholl listen attentively without being distracted or judging you.
Get moving. When youre depressed, just getting out of bed can seem daunting, let alone exercising. But regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medication in countering the symptoms of depression. Take a short walk or put some music on and dance around. Start with small activities and build up from there.
Eat a mood boosting diet. Reduce your intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, alcohol, trans fats, sugar and refined carbs. And increase mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids.
Diagnostic Tests To Expect
Unfortunately, there isn’t currently a definitive lab test that can be used to diagnose depression so your doctor will do a few things. First, your doctor will perform a physical exam and run several different blood tests to rule out other conditions that might be causing your symptoms. Some of the possible tests might include:
- Complete blood count
Read Also: Going Through A Depressive Episode
Favorite Apps Products And Gadgets
If youre feeling sad, lonely, or stressed, the 7 Cups app could provide you with online therapy and emotional support. With180 professional therapists and more than 300,000 trained listeners and licensed therapists, youll be able to speak to someone 24/7 in a confidential setting.
This app offers activities and games to overcome negative thoughts. Youll receive a happiness score that you can improve each time you play. Its based on effective, evidence-based psychological strategies. The company says 86 percent of those who use the app report feeling better about their lives after just two months.
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder , bright light therapy may help improve your symptoms. We like the Verilux HappyLight Lucent 10,000 Lux LED Bright White Light Therapy Lamp. Its compact and portable, so you can use it on the go. And it received an average of 4.5 stars on Amazon reviews. The cost is around $45.
What To Do When You Feel Depressed
When feeling depressed, most people want to sit around the house and do nothing, but this can actually worsen depression. Knowing how to feel better when depressed involves learning about depression, knowing yourself and understanding what works for you.
The important thing to remember when trying to feel better is to make reasonable goals. Anything has the possibility of making you feel more depressed if you set an unrealistic goal. For example, exercising is positive, but setting the goal for yourself to run five miles a day might make you feel more depressed if that’s not something you’re able to accomplish. Small goals and small steps forward work best. You can always set bigger goals as you start to feel less depressed.
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Are There Other Therapies To Treat Symptoms Of Depression
There are other treatments your doctor may consider. Electroconvulsive therapy, or ECT, is a treatment option for people whose symptoms don’t get better with medicine or who have severe depression and need treatment right away.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, involves using a noninvasive device that is held above the head to induce the magnetic field. It targets a specific part of the brain that can trigger depression.
With vagus nerve stimulation, or VMS, a pacemaker-like device is surgically implanted under the collarbone to deliver regular impulses to the brain.
The More You Chase A Depressed Person The More They Will Withdraw From You
And, your misguided persistence about keeping the relationship going at all costs will eventually make her feel pressured and force her to make unilateral decisions about your relationship that you dont want her to make right now in this state of mind.
You might be thinking, Of course I would be offended and hurt by a breakup.
And, I completely understand. During normal times, a breakup is the height of personal rejection.
During a normal breakup someone is essentially saying,
You know this amazing, vulnerable, loving relationship we share? Remember all the sex, love, affection and great times when we ate pizza in the rain together? How about our shared love of garden gnomes? Remember that? Id rather do that with ANYONE else except you. No thanks.
Also Check: Major Depressive Disorder Dsm 5
Signs And Symptoms Of Depression
Although there are many types of depression, there are certain symptoms that are common across depressive disorders. These symptoms provide the foundation for depression self-evaluations and diagnostic processes used by mental health professionals.
For example, the PHQ-9 often asks questions such as How often have you been bothered by feeling tired or having little energy? and How often have you caught yourself speaking or moving slower than usual? to assess fatigue, which is a hallmark symptom of depression. The more severe the depression, the more frequently these symptoms tend to occur.
You may have depression if you have experienced at least some of the following symptoms nearly every day for at least two weeks:
- Feelings of sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Loss of interest in activities and hobbies
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
If you experience suicidal thoughts, you are not alone. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 273-8255 to speak with a trained counselor and find help near you.
Conquer Depression Before You Try To Work On Your Marriage
Depression can wreak major havoc in your marriage. You may be tempted to fix what seem like smaller issues before tackling the illness head-on . Its reasonable to ask your spouse to help all he or she can around the house, to be responsible and treat you well, Walfish says. But looking for major changes while your spouse is under the influence of depression may simply create more frustration. Focus on lifting depression first.
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Break The Ice Gently Yet Firmly
If you suspect your partner is depressed, dont blurt out a laypersons: Youre depressed! or announce: You better get help! In order to begin the process of healing, approach your spouse with concern and with an action plan, Walfish says. You might say, Im concerned about how feeling tired and losing your appetite are affecting you. You deserve to feel better. Our doctor may be able to help you, and Id like to arrange a time when we can meet with him. Next week, I can go on Wednesday or Friday. Whats good for you?
Volunteer To Help Others And Yourself
For a moment let us shift our mental focus from our needs and sad thoughts to the needs of others . Building a social connection is definitely one of the best things to do when you feel lonely and topping it with acts of giving back to your community just makes it even better. Just by doing something selfless on its own is a great way to deal with loneliness.
Related: Benefits of Helping Others | Its Truly Good For You
Also Check: How To Beat Your Depression
Depression And Suicide Risk
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. Deep despair and hopelessness can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. If you have a loved one with depression, take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously and watch for the warning signs:
- Talking about killing or harming ones self.
- Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped.
- An unusual preoccupation with death or dying.
- Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish .
- Getting affairs in order .
- Saying things like Everyone would be better off without me, or I want out.
- A sudden switch from being extremely down to acting calm and happy.
If you think a friend or family member is considering suicide, express your concern and seek help immediately. Talking openly about suicidal thoughts and feelings can save a life.
If you are feeling suicidal
When youre feeling suicidal, your problems dont seem temporarythey seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel better, especially if you get help. There are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out!
ReadSuicide Help, call 1-800-273-TALK in the U.S., or visit IASP or Suicide.org to find a helpline in your country.
Depression Treatment: Lifestyle Changes Talk Therapy Antidepressants
If you suspect that depression is interfering with your life, talking about what youre experiencing and discussing treatment options with a medical professional is essential. As actress Taraji P. Henson, who describes her depression as suffocating darkness, recently explained in an interview with Self magazine, When youre quiet, things arent fixed. It gets worse.
The good news is that theres abundant evidence that people with depression who seek treatment will find significant relief from lifestyle changes, talk therapy , medication, or a combination of all efforts, according to the Association of America.
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How Else Can Parents Help
Parents can help in lots of ways. Talk with them about what you want their help with. Here are some of the things parents can do to help. You might think of other things that aren’t on this list. But this list can give you and your parent some ideas.
- help you practice skills you learn in therapy
- remind you that they love and believe in you
- let you know they see the good in you, and are proud of you
- keep expecting good things from you
- talk through problems with you
- ask you about good things that happen in your day
- help with homework or projects you’re having trouble with, or get you a tutor
- hold you to your responsibilities at home and at school
- help you get enough exercise, sleep, and healthy food
- help you limit the time you spend on screens and social media
- help you wake up in the morning at the right time, but do it in a friendly way
- do things with you that you both enjoy walk, play a sport or game, watch a movie, do a craft, or cook
These things may seem simple, but they add up. They start to change the way you think and feel. They can lift your mood, and help you think better about yourself. They can help you and your parent feel close. That’s a recipe for feeling better, even if you’re going through depression.