According to the National Health Institute, depression is a condition that affects 10% of the world’s population. The number of people being affected by depression is increasing at a rate of 20% per year. This is mainly attributed by lack of knowledge in the area of clinical depression. This has in turn resulted to a majority of people not receiving any kind of treatment aimed at eliminating the problem.
One out of ten people that suffer from depression normally resort to suicide. This shows the severity of the problem which calls for an action aimed at creating awareness into the depression problem. Recognizing the signs of depression is the first step towards creating a knowledgeable and informed society. This goes a long way into saving someone’s life.
What is depression?
Depression is defined as a mental health condition characterized by an extended state of sadness and a continued feeling of despair that affects a person’s thinking and functioning capability. Depression should not be confused with normal grief or sadness. Severity, duration plus presence of other symptoms are the main elements that separate normal sadness from clinical depression.
• Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Depression is said to vary from one individual to another. However, there are certain common symptoms that can be identified in patients suffering from depression. Listed below are the five major signs of depression that you need to know about.
1. Depressed Mood
Clinical depression is a condition that affects the way you view life in general. It is normally accompanied by a sense of guilt and worthlessness. Your hopeless and helpless outlook towards life might be as a result of depression. “What is the point of living?” “I can never amount to anything.” These are reoccurring thoughts of a depressed individual.
2. Loss of Interest and a Daily Sense of Tiredness
Do you find yourself withdrawing from the activities you once loved? Are you constantly filled with a sense of intense tiredness and slowness? Depression is said to take enjoyment and pleasure out of things we most loved. Moreover, this clinical condition is said to create an overwhelming feeling of lethargy.
3. Sleeping Disorders
This mental condition is usually characterized by either insomnia or hypersomnia. Insomnia is defined as the inability to sleep while hypersomnia is the act of oversleeping.
4. Change in Eating Habits
Change in appetite fluctuates differently from one individual to another. There are those that experience increase in appetite and as a result gain weight. On the other hand, other patients experience loss in appetite which contributes to their loss in weight.
5. Suicidal Thoughts
Have you ever met a person who constantly wishes he or she was dead? This person should be taken seriously. Patients suffering from chronic depression normally express their feelings through suicidal attempts. If you find yourself constantly faced with suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek immediate therapy and treatment.
How do I know that am suffering from acute depression and not normal sadness? In acute depression, all the mentioned symptoms will occur for a period of more than two weeks.
Michelle London Doctor of Psychology of Memorial Hospital says that, “depression is a callous disease that can affect anyone. Once the symptoms begin, it is very easy for an individual to slide down the black hole that leads to destruction.” Identifying the symptoms is the beginning of preventing a depression spiral where one symptom feeds off of another. This in turn reduces severity.