Today I want to discuss how to pick up on signs of depression in yourself or your loved ones.
Let's face it: civilization didn't make the life easier for us. Yes, we have showers and central heating, antibiotics and meals on wheels, but we've never been unhappier.
Clinical depression is more and more common among us, and sometimes it takes just a little bit of extra care and attention to pull someone from the brink.
So what are the obvious symptoms of depression which you should spot easily?
First of all, the symptoms will repeat nearly every day for 2 of more weeks and will show different behaviour from what you're used to.
Secondly, the changes in behaviour most likely will include:
- Feeling exhausted as soon as you wake up and contemplating if there is any point in getting up;
- Loss of appetite and consequently weight loss (sometimes the opposite - constant comfort eating and weight gain);
- Loss of interest in your life, hobbies, friends, activities and withdrawal from socializing in general;
- Feeling of sadness, irritability, mood swings, tearfulness, thoughts of death, excessive guilt and feeling worthless;
- Not being able to sleep through the night or sleeping all the time;
- Going through the day with no energy and physically feeling slowed down;
- Not being able to think clearly, concentrate or make decisions;
These are some of the very typical signs of being depressed.
There are plenty of online depression tests. Most of them consist of 10 simple questions, and if you answer yes to five or more of them you better make sure and see your doctor who can examine you further and find out if you are clinically depressed and what kind of treatment you would need.
There is absolutely no shame in admitting that you are depressed. In fact I've read recently about a new view on depression. One take on it is that it's due to the chemical imbalance of the brain and genetic factors. There is not enough serotonin in your brain and it causes depression.
But the other side says that all this is just results not causes of depression. The fact is depression is caused by our body grieving about something. Grieving is a natural response, depression is just displacing this response in time.
So, ideally clinical depression is best treated by therapy for its causes and medications for the symptoms.
What do you think about this point of view?