You may not know you are depressed. Many, many people don’t. Depression mimics other illnesses and other illnesses mimic depression. But here is the official list. Anything in parenthesis is what I’ve added for clarification.
A major depressive episode may include these symptoms:
- Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism (You sound very negative when you speak. You always find something wrong somewhere.)
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness (You might feel guilty for a lot that happens around you. You feel helpless to change anything.)
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities, including sex (When was the last time you did something you truly enjoy?)
- Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down” (Have you noticed you’re saying “I’m so tired more than you used to?)
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions (Your mind feels like mush.)
- Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Low appetite and weight loss or overeating and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide, suicide attempts (This is serious and requires prompt medical attention.)
- Restlessness, irritability
- Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and pain for which no other cause can be diagnosed.
Remember just having one or two symptoms for a short period is probably not depression. We all go through stressful periods where even all of these could appear. For example, a grieving person might well exhibit all these symptoms.
At least five of these symptoms must persist for two weeks or longer and represent a significant change from previous functioning before a diagnosis of clinical depression can be made.
Anyone who thinks they suffer from depression should see the doctor for a diagnosis.
Believe it or not, as specific as these symptoms are, some people still will not recognize these in themselves. Sometimes, if you’ve noticed a drop in your mood that seems to persist, ask someone close to you how you seem to them. Other people are often more observant.
You absolutely can beat depression no matter how that list seems oppressive and unsurmountable. God does not want this for you. Because I know how it feels, rest assured, I don’t want it for you either.
God bless and hang in there.
The post, “The symptoms of depression. It’s important to know them.” appeared first on thegiftofdepression.com.