It's normal to feel down from time to time, but sometimes those feelings happen for no reason and won't go away. Depression is more than just a short bout of the blues - it's a condition that makes it hard to function and get through life. When you're depressed, it's easy to feel hopeless, but the right kind of treatment can help. However, you still need to understand the condition and determine what's best for you. Let's look at some of the signs of depression to help you discover whether or not it's affecting your life.
Some of the signs of depression are having problems sleeping, or they sleep away most of the day. Tasks that used to be easy become difficult, and concentration can be tricky. Thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness are common, and many people have trouble controlling their negative thoughts. They may feel short tempered or irritable, or easily burst into tears. Lack of appetite and extreme over eating are also common. You may feel that life's not worth living. These can all be depression signs.
Other signs of depression also manifests in the inability to enjoy things that used to be pleasant, a reduced sex drive, and significant changes in weight. If you lose or gain more than five percent of your body weight in a month, it's considered significant. You may feel keyed up and agitated, or sluggish and slow. Making decisions, keeping track of things, and staying focused can be extremely difficult. You may feel strongly guilty or worthless, or overly criticize your errors and faults. Many people with depression signs find that small tasks take much longer or are very tiring.
Depressed teens and adolescents are often irritable, rather than sad, and may seem hostile. Unexplained pain is also common in depressed young people. Older adults are also likely to complain about physical symptoms, and may focus on them to the exclusion of the emotional signs. Poor health is extremely common in depressed older adults.
Women are twice as likely to be depressed as men, in part because of hormonal factors, but also possibly because of social factors. Women are more likely to overeat, gain weight, sleep too much and experience strong guilt, while depressed men are more likely to be aggressive, violent, reckless and to complain about lack of sleep or fatigue. Men are at a higher risk for suicide from depression than women.
So, if you have some of these signs of depression, what can you do? There are a number of options. Many people choose to see a professional about their depression, and this is a very good idea. However, you shouldn't assume that being depressed or seeing someone for the problem means you have to take medication for it. Lifestyle changes, counseling, herbal remedies and many other methods are also available to help deal with depression, and for some people they work much better than conventional medication. Investigate all your options and find out what's available, but make sure you do something!