There are probably as many forms and severity of depression as there are sufferers. It's a hideous illness which ensnares people, often without any prior warning.
Sometimes it builds up slowly until the sufferer is in a black hole from which there appears to be no escape. Help must be obtained either by the sufferer or someone in the family or amongst friends. This can at times be difficult because the person concerned will reject everything and everyone that can help.
Severe depression symptoms will include agitated or even aggressive rejection of help. Not only does the sufferer not know which way to turn but neither does the helper. However, without help the illness will only get worse.
Symptoms of severe depression are:
- Feelings of distress - leading to weeping and extreme despair
- Agitation - leading to thrashing about
- Restlessness - leading to wandering around inside the home or indeed aimlessly walking the surrounding areas
- Cannot settle to a task - this can show in the way tasks are started but not finished
- Aggression towards others - this can be shouting and refusing to comply up to actual physical attack which has to be restrained
- Aggression towards self - maybe head banging or other self harm
- Lacking concentration - cannot follow thoughts through coherently
- Feeling of uselessness and lack of self worth - can be guilt ridden because they have no desire to do anything for themselves or others
- Take no interest in looking after themselves - they may become disheveled and indeed dirty
- Insomnia - but may retire to bed early and rise late because of tiredness and lethargy
- Loss of appetite - no amount of tempting food will arouse the desire to eat
- May hear voices or had visitations - may be convinced that dark forces are communicating with them
- Cannot bear to be in their own home - may want to get away but not know where they want to be. Just want to be alone. Would like to curl up in a corner and be left alone
- Suicidal - not just thought but also action and it could involve others such as the family because in some way they think this would be the best option for them all. It is believed that about 10% of sufferers actually commit suicide.
An individual will suffer from some or many of these symptoms but it is very difficult to spot the problems in the early stages and so may lead on to severe depression before steps can be taken to obtain help. It is important to obtain advice from a properly qualified medical practitioner who will be able to diagnose the type of illness and prescribe the best treatment.