It's easy to say after a hard day, "I'm depressed", but when you think of it, most of us will have forgotten that we even said that by the next day or at least within a few days. Any normal human being will go through a rough time when they lose a loved one to death or separation, when they can't figure out how to pay the next bill, when they haven't slept in months due to a new baby or when the sun hasn't shone in three weeks. So, even though at that moment it does seem serious, when do you know if it's the real thing? When does it become a clinical depression?
Any item in the list of the most common symptoms of depression can be due to other causes, like a physical disorder or illness. And anybody can be feeling at least one symptom at any given time. So before you go and diagnose yourself with clinical depression, make sure you're suffering from more that one symptom and talk to your doctor.
A person suffering from a clinical depression will usually experience these symptoms:
- A difficulty falling asleep and/or sleeping through the night. They may also wake up early and be unable to go back to sleep. Many feel that they dream all night, the dreams often being of a very disturbing nature.
- A feeling of complete exhaustion with not even enough energy to carry out daily tasks.
- A constant feeling of sadness and misery. Not even the things that usually bring them joy have any effect. They will start crying for no specific reason.
- Feeling that they are a failure in every aspect. They may ponder on the past and the mistakes they have made in the past, are making in the present and will make in the future. This all brings on a feeling of hopelessness, as if life will not get any better and is ultimately not even worth living. Though a depressive person might not be suicidal, in many cases thought of death and suicide are constantly in the back of their mind.
- A person suffering from a depression will either not want to see anyone at all or be terrified of being left alone.
- They have no interest and joy in things that they used to love, such as hobbies. In most cases, interest in sex will disappear completely. Though they may not have an appetite, they might stuff themselves with food to find comfort.
- Though depressed people often seem subdued, they might become irritable and angry for little or no reason.
- Low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
- A feeling that life is unfair.
- Though they might spend the day not doing anything and without the will to do anything, they still feel that life is passing them by.
Depression not only causes emotional pain, in many cases it also brings on physical pain, such as back pain and headaches. These usually cannot be explained by the medical profession and will not go away through treatment such as therapeutic massages or medication. Other physical symptoms of depression are constipation or other digestive problems, chest pain and dizziness. Any of these conditions could imply something else and should be checked out by a doctor. If the patient has a tendency to suffer depression, it should be mentioned to the physician.