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How To Recognize Early Signs Of Depression

When feeling sad, down or miserable not everybody comes to the conclusion that depression is involved. And sometimes there is much more to it then just feeling “under the weather”.

Everybody will have experienced some of the known symptoms of depression at one point in their life. Everybody feels sad or negative once in a while. And although this can feel very severe to the person in question, in most cases it is not depression.

When talking about depression the symptoms are endured over a longer period. Multiple weeks or months and in some cases years. A very common misconception is that depression exists only between the ears. There is much more to it than that. There is a combination of symptoms involved. Psychological as well as Physical.

Psychological symptoms

  • feelings of sadness,

  • despair,

  • irritation,

  • disappointment,

  • anxiety,

  • anger,

  • low self esteem,

  • guilt,

  • negative- and suicidal thoughts.

Physical symptoms

  • trouble sleeping,

  • loss of appetite,

  • exhaustion,

  • headaches,

  • no sense of pleasure.

Every experience will be different. There will be a combination of multiple and different symptoms. There are various different types of depressive disorders. From very severe to relatively minor. And everything in between. We will describe a few.

Major Depressive Disorder

Another term often used is Clinical Depression. People lose interest in activities they normally enjoy. Experience low mood during most of the day and on nearly every days.

This form of depression includes Melancholia, Psychotic Depression and Postnatal Depression.

In the Melancholia state of depression most sufferers show a number of physical symptoms. One of the most prominent changes in the person is that they start to move more slowly. And they often completely lose pleasure in activities they normally really enjoy.

With Psychotic Depression it is know that people lose touch with reality. Delusions, hallucinations and paranoia are very common.

Around 80% of women giving birth will experience symptoms that could be seen as Postnatal Depression. In most cases, thought, it is just hormones playing up and the lack of sleep causing exhaustion. However, for around 16% of new mothers this goes much further. The main period of worry is the first 3 months. Often the relationship between mother and baby is severely stressed and many mothers think they don’t love their babies.

Bipolar Disorder

Another name used for this disorder is Manic Depression. Reason for this choice of expression is that the person in question experiences bad or manic feelings for an extended period of time, with periods of normal mood in between. The ups can be very high, the downs very low. From feeling overly happy and having too much energy to wanting to sleep all day and seeing or hearing things that are not there.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

SAD influences everybody in a different manner. Some people find the condition mere irritating whilst for others it is life changing. The cause has been linked to the variation in light exposure. This is not only in winter but it has been known to be most prominent in the darker months. And in countries with shorter periods of daylight. Therefore quite likely in countries that are part of the Northern Hemisphere.

The main symptoms are a lack of energy and wanting to sleep most of the time. Additional to that: tearfulness, a reduced sex drive and becoming less sociable. And the symptoms recur regularly in the same period of the year. The periods of depression are followed by periods without depression.

Depression is a cruel condition. Not only to the person suffering from it, but also for the people surrounding the person. Especially spouses and close friends are often “victims” of the behaviour.

Are you worried about someone? Or do think you might be suffering from the described symptoms? Don’t hesitate to contact me. We can discuss things in confidence and without prejudice.

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