What are the symptoms of depression?
Depression can take many shapes and can last days, weeks, months or even years. Symptoms manifest themselves according to the cause of the depression, but also according to individual characteristics. Despite those specificities, there are also common symptoms which impact four aspects of the personality:
Guilt, sadness and anxiety are often present. People who are depressed also experience mood swings, feel easily upset, useless and don’t find the energy to come out of their suffering. It is also common to feel powerless and discouraged.
Slow and negative thoughts are characteristic of a depression. A depressed person finds it difficult to make decisions, to concentrate and often experiences confusion. We also see a tendency for self criticism and under evaluation of the self.
Depression rhymes with isolation and procrastination. When one is depressed she or he has no desire for anything, can start crying easily and often stop taking care of her or his appearance. Sometimes, a depressed person will seek comfort in alcohol, food or other external substances.
There are some possible physical symptoms of depression, such as an extreme exhaustion, a loss of energy, headaches, muscles pain and digestion issues. It is common to have a disturbed sleep pattern and to experience a change in appetite.
What is important to keep in mind, is that depression can affect anyone. Going through a depression does not make you weak, it actually shows that you have used a lot of strength for a long period of time, to the point where your body and mind might be out of energy.
If you have been experiencing some of these symptoms in at least three of those categories, it is important to talk about it with your general practitioner or to contact a psychologist.