It can be difficult at times to differentiate between ‘feeling down’ for a season and suffering from depression. Where is the line between the two? The symptoms of depression typically persist for two or more weeks. What’s more, no two people experience depression the same, and some may experience more symptoms than others. Nonetheless, here are a few key signs to identify if you or someone you know may be depressed.
1. Loss of appetite and change in weight
Losing more than 5% of your body’s weight within a month may be a signifier of depression, as it tends to have an effect on your appetite.
2. Change in sleeping patterns
This may be suffering from insomnia, oversleeping (also called hypersomnia) or waking up in the very early hours of the morning.
3. Feelings of anger or irritability
Is your temper short? Everyone and everything aggravating you? Are you less able to tolerate little annoyances? Depression tends to include feelings of restlessness, agitation and even violence.
4. Lack of energy
It might feel nearly impossible to get out of bed in the morning, and you may feel physically drained. Instead of ticking tasks of your list quickly, it may take you a much longer time to complete and may be more difficult.
5. Feeling helpless or hopeless
You might feel like nothing is every going to get better, you have no hope, or there is nothing that will improve your situation.
6. Reckless behaviour
Are you involved in dangerous behaviour such as excessive gambling, substance abuse or careless driving? This may be a strong sign of depression.
What should you do if you can identify with any of these symptoms? It’s very important not to keep quiet about it or isolate yourself, no matter how much you may want to. You need to seek professional help and surround yourself with people you love. There are also several effective treatments for people suffering from depression, including therapy and medication.