Feeling down and blue from time to time is a normal part of life. However, when emotions like despair and hopelessness threaten to overwhelm you, then you may be depressed. It is vital that one recognizes the symptoms of depression to prevent suffering from the bad effects of this silent oppressor.
According to Mayo Clinic, there are many signs and symptoms to determine if you are depressed, and it varies from person to person. One person may experience a symptom or two while others have many. However, the result is the same, with a person feeling miserable and unable to function in life properly.
1. Feeling of hopelessness resulting in loss of interest in daily normal activities
A person may be depressed if he has lost all hope and can not find enjoyment in daily activities. Hobbies, events, and past times that used to take up their time may be neglected or forgotten. Someone who is depressed does not enjoy the pleasures life offers.
2. Appetite, weight, and sleep changes
A depressed person will usually have significant changes in their appetite. The person will either lose or gain weight drastically because of these changes, said HelpGuide.org.
Not only will depression affect a person's appetite, it also causes some changes in a person's sleeping habits. Someone who is depressed moves from both ends of the spectrum – either oversleeping or suffering from insomnia.
3. Self-denigration or loss of energy
Depressed people will always find negative things about themselves and often feel worthless and useless. Due to these emotions, those who suffer from depression tend to lose all energy in whatever they do – work, family, and life in general. They may feel weak, frail and have difficulty in concentrating.
4. Easily irritated and prone to angry outbursts
People who are depressed struggle to control their emotions and often get agitated even over little things. In worst cases, some are predisposed to violent outbursts, which can be harmful to people around them.
5. Having thoughts of suicide and being vulnerable to self-harm
Because of feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, those who suffer from depression sometimes administer harm to themselves. Some have constant thoughts of suicide.
In worse cases, actual suicide attempts are made because of the overwhelming emotions that threaten the depressed person.
No matter what type of depression a person may have, it should never be taken lightly.
There is help for each type of depression and people should not be afraid to seek help especially when thoughts are turning to suicide.
A lot of countries also offer suicide prevention hotlines available 24 hours a day for people who need immediate help and counsel.
In the USA, further help can be sought by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, available 24 hours a day, on 1-800-273-8255 or by visiting their website.
If you are in the UK, the NHS website has a page offering information on how you can get help and advice.