What are the Symptoms of Depression?

How do I know how depressed I am?

A person with mild depression feels blue, struggles to achieve as well as usual at work or at school, may not feel as energetic or enjoy social contact, and sighs a lot.

A person with moderate depression has similar symptoms and feelings and may have some unhelpful negative thoughts creeping in and these become more intense and enduring.

A person with severe depression is usually bed-ridden and unable to attend work or school. They typically stop almost all of their usual social functioning.

Mild depression:

Tiredness, feeling “down”, uninterested in usual activities, lack of motivation.

Anxiety, worrying and negative thoughts, difficulty sleeping, difficulty getting out of bed, a persistent feeling of unhappiness.

Loss of appetite or excessive appetite.

Periods of mild depression are quite common and normal. They can be caused by such things as overwork, weather, physical and emotional stress. If symptoms of mild depression do not pass with time or worsen they can lead to clinical depression, a medical condition that involves the mind and body

Severe depression:

Anxiety, excessive agitation.

Negative and catastrophic thoughts, suicidal thoughts, panic attacks.

Sudden weight loss or sudden weight gain, extreme fatigue and exhaustion. Waking early in the morning, often between 2 and 4am, and unable to get back to sleep. Fatigue and exhaustion that does not pass with a normal rest period.

Persistent weepiness, sudden unexplained crying, paranoid thoughts. Withdrawal from all social and personal activities, loss of libido.

Feelings of worthlessness and guilt and fixating on past failures. Very low self- esteem.

Inability to concentrate.

Unexplained physical symptoms such as back pain and headaches,

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of severe depression with no signs of improvement for more than two weeks it is extremely important that you seek medical help and talk to someone about it. Especially if the symptoms include thoughts about suicide or you or the person is feeling suicidal.

Untreated severe depression can be life threatening.

Lifeline:…………. 0800 543354

Psychotherapy can be a very effective method for treating and managing symptoms of depression and anxiety and also managing life situations that can lead to depression or anxiety.

Depression, anxiety and panic attacks:

Anxiety is often considered a condition on its own. However, often someone suffering from anxiety will also display symptoms of depression and vice versa.

Symptoms of anxiety:

Extreme shyness, unwillingness to be involved in social situations, paranoia. Insomnia, panic attacks, nausea, exhaustion and tiredness, racing heartbeat, feelings of impending catastrophe or doom, physical hypersensitivity.

Panic attacks:

A panic attack can be defined as a period of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms brought on for no apparent reason. Symptoms are similar to more general symptoms of anxiety, but very intense and can also include feelings of choking, being smothered and feeling as if you are “going crazy”. Often accompanied by heart palpitations and chest pain. The symptoms will pass in quite a short period of time, and are usually followed by a feeling of extreme tiredness or exhaustion.

While panic attacks can be extremely unnerving and debilitating, it is important to realise that they are not life threatening and treatment can be very effective.

Most people will suffer at least one or two panic attacks in their lifetime for various reasons. If you have had several and live in fear of further attacks this can be defined as a chronic condition called panic disorder.

Depression and anxiety can often be caused by physical and chemical changes or deficiencies in the body. Symptoms can also be caused by emotional stress or major life changes. Often once the situation has been resolved the symptoms will pass. However, if they persist it is very important you seek help.

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