Monday, 20 April 2015

How do you know if you're depressed?

It is Depression Awareness Week this week and everyone will be familiar with the term 'depression' being used in everyday conversation to describe someone who is feeling miserable, but what really constitutes depression and how can you tell the difference between low mood and depression?

What is depression?

Someone who is suffering from depression will not simply feel a little bit down for a few weeks, they will experience low mood, loss of interest or enjoyment in activities, and low self-esteem over a prolonged period of time. They may find it hard to deal with daily life and may not feel able to cope with day-to-day activities.

Common symptoms of depression 

There are many different symptoms associated with depression including:

Changes in feelings: feeling agitated, irritated or angry; feeling worthless or helpless; low confidence; guilt; feeling you have lost control of your life; and suicidal thoughts.

Changes in behaviour: increased aggression towards others; losing your temper quickly; taking more risks than usual; finding it hard to concentrate on tasks; reduced interest in social activities; little interest in sex; and lack of motivation to take care of yourself by eating properly, keeping clean or exercising.

You may also experience an increased or reduced appetite and thus rapid weight loss or gain; and difficulty sleeping.

Of course everyone is different and so some people may experience a few of these symptoms while others may experience nearly all of them and in varying degrees of severity.

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