Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Signs & Symptoms of Stress, Anxiety & Depression

If you think that you may be suffering from stress, anxiety or depression check out these signs and symptoms and seek some professional help. Even if only one or two of these signs are familiar to you, you should read on and know what to look out for to avoid getting worse. It is a good idea to always surround yourself with friends and family and know how and where you can seek help. So without any further ado, here are some signs of depression that I have learned, from personal experience, to look out for:

Erratic Moods

If you are not properly medicated or otherwise treated for depression, you can become very irritated, moody and frustrated. Your moods may be erratic and it might even take you a few days to realize. it is highly likely that you have also been upsetting the people around you, such as your family and work colleagues, without even realizing it.

Fatigue or Restless Sleep

This is not necessarily a sign of depression, but more a contributing factor or aggravator of it. If your mind will not stop working at one million miles an hour, or your dreams are waking you up in a state of panic, then you should definitely seek some professional medical advice to help you to prevent things from getting worse. The answer may be as simple as changing your diet or getting some exercise so try this first before you outlay a lot of money on expensive medical appointments and medications.

Weight Gain or Weight Loss

Stress, anxiety and depression can affect people in different ways and for different reasons. Similarly, different people will exhibit different signs. In my experience, I notice that I tend to lose my appetite and significantly lose weight in the days leading up to a really depressing mood. And I do not have much weight to lose, so small changes in my weight can be quite significant. This is also despite the side effects of my prescription medication which increases my appetite. On the other hand, other people tend to comfort eat and gain weight before becoming depressed. In either case, changes in your weight, particularly if it is weight gain, can be a cause of stress, anxiety or depression in many people.


A sudden withdrawal of contact with friends, family and work colleagues is obvious. However, if this occurs gradually over time, it is possible that no-one will notice until it is too late. Remember, it is possible for a person to be physically present in a social setting but emotionally or psychologically distant. Always make sure you are surrounded by people and if you cannot interact, then it is usually a good idea to spend time with your family.

Loss of Interest in Personal Presentation

This is possibly one of the most obvious signs to see when someone is experiencing trouble in their personal life. A person who is preoccupied with their troubling thoughts will often become lazy when it comes to applying make up, re-dying coloured hair or treating acne. In some cases, even failing to bathe can be obvious!

Memory Loss and Operating on Auto Pilot

This is one of the last signs that you might acknowledge, as everyone gets weighed down from time to time with the pressures of life. You should know for yourself once you have reached the point where nothing interests you, and you are simply doing what is required of you by everyone else, and nothing more. If your demeanor is not excitable and your stare is empty, if you have trouble engaging in conversation or making eye contact, then I strongly encourage you to find a family member to just be around. If you think you are becoming forgetful, often your memory is quite fine, it is just the case that you were not listening properly because you were caught up in your own thoughts.

Even if you are medicated for stress, anxiety or depression and are under the supervision of a medical professional, if any of these signs are familiar to you, it might be worthwhile requesting a second opinion to ensure that you have been prescribed the right medication for you. If, after reading this article, you have some concerns for someone close to you be careful and tactful in how you raise them. Be prepared to listen patiently, do not push for more information then the person is willing to give you initially, and make sure that they are aware that you are there to help if they need someone. Do not take an accusatory approach or make the person feel cornered or ashamed - they are probably feeling bad enough already.

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