Depression is a mood disorder which, according to the World Health Organization, is affecting over 350 million people across the globe. It is a complex psychological state which has physiological effects and interferes with an individual’s routine functioning.
Depression can be situational and/or bio-chemical in nature. Clinical depression is not often given the serious attention it deserves. While recovery is an important topic, in this article we will look at the symptoms that indicate that a person is clinically depressed. Recognising the symptoms is actually the first step toward recovery.
A clinically depressed person will be suffering from these following symptoms for most of the days or nearly every day:
People who are depressed are usually linked to persistently ‘sad’ mood, a feeling of anxiousness, and an ‘empty’ mood – feelings that do not go away.
Lack of pleasure, drive, interest
Some of the people suffering from major depressive disorder find themselves disinterested in day-to-day activities. They lose interest in even the simple, daily activities, which they formerly enjoyed at some point. For example, such people may not want to go to work.
Sleep disturbance or increased sleep
It can affect a person’s sleeping pattern as it disrupts the genes that control sleep. A lot of people suffering from depression would keep sleeping for longer period of time. They just don’t wish to leave their comfort zone and can spend hours lounging in the sofa or their bed. Also, they usually fall asleep at inappropriate times.
Lack of appetite or increased appetite
Where in some people, reduced appetite is often noticed; some also witness an increase in food cravings and consequent weight gain. A lot of people try to console themselves by indulging in sweets and fast food. They eat food that can offer them temporary relief by pumping pleasure chemicals in the brain.
Diminished ability to think, concentrate
It can affect a person’s thinking abilities and in worse cases, it makes a person indecisive. A lot of people who are depressed have issues with their concentration levels. They easily get distracted by small issues and are not able to hold their concentration. Such people can spend hours doing nothing or simply staring into the space purposely.
The condition zaps a person’s energy and leaves them fatigued. Most of the time, the fatigue is caused due to sleeplessness.
Inappropriate feelings of guilt/sadness
A depressed person feels sad for having a mental disorder. They feel guilty that other people have to suffer because of you and your disorder. Apart from this, they keep blaming their past failures and things for which they actually weren’t responsible for their condition. They think, they could have avoided all the suffering, if they were actually stronger.
It feels like they want something but do not know what exactly. Some of the common signs that accompany this symptom are constant foot tapping as well as twitches. Depressed people have a disturbed state of mind, so much so that they aren’t able to focus on anything. They switch from one activity to another, but do not enjoy any of them for long.
Feeling of worthlessness
Depression sufferers get demoralized in life and feel worthless. They think that nobody loves them and they cannot contribute anything in others' lives or towards society. Feeling of worthlessness is what gives a pump to suicidal thoughts. Making small mistakes is overwhelming for sufferers.
Frequent and recurrent thoughts of suicide (not just fear of dying) can cloud the mind of people suffering from major depressive disorder.
Social isolation /withdrawn
Social isolation affects the brain’s stress response and a person gets a strong urge to keep away from other people and completely shut down.
They tend to cry for no reason at all. They get touchy by small things.
Depressed people have trouble remembering important facts and information. It becomes difficult for them to give attention to smaller details.
As they lost the interest and drive to do any work/fun activities, they start leaving their work with the intention for doing it in next day. But the next day never comes.
Inappropriate reaction (irritability)
Irritability reaches its peak and feels like emotional sandpaper under the skin and the moment it touches the peak, everything, even the kindest words from the loved ones, just make it worse.