How do you know when you're just having a hard time and are stressed out, or if it's something more serious? When is it clinical depression? While a doctor is the only one who can make a qualified diagnosis, there are some signs and symptoms of depression that can signal your need to see a doctor. Here are 10 of those signs and symptoms.
According to medical sources, feeling particularly depressed in the morning is a sign that you may have depression. Feeling sad all day is also part of depression, but the morning blues - perhaps making you just want to stay in or go back to bed - are particularly likely to be connected with depression.
Many people don't realize that recent research points to a connection between anger and depression. Blowing up and yelling at people without being able to control it may signify depression.
Slightly different from anger, irritability is more about feeling snappish or easily frustrated and/or annoyed than angry blow-ups. Irritability connected to depression may make you feel really on edge all the time.
Do you find yourself wanting to give up because things seem like they're just too much? Do you say, "I just can't take anymore," often? Depression can make you feel overwhelmed and over-stressed even when your schedule is not terribly demanding. Even a simple request for you to do something may send you over the edge and make you feel super-stressed.
People with depression may constantly compare themselves to others. As noted above, a not-too-demanding schedule may seem overwhelming to a depressed person, thus making the depressed person feel inadequate that he/she can't handle a schedule that others seem to handle fine. This sets up a cycle of feeling inadequate.
Insomnia or Excessive Sleepiness
Ironically, depression can cause some people to lose sleep, while it makes others want to sleep all the time (hypersomnia).
Lack of Interest
Are you just not interested in any outside activities? Are things you once looked forward to just burdensome things you have to trudge through and get done? This may mean you have depression.
Changes in Weight
In another irony of depression, both weight loss and weight gain may be symptoms of depression. Generally, if you gain or lose 5% or more of your body weight in a month, it may mean depression.
Depression can make you feel like you can't make a decision, even simple ones. Your schedule just seems like gibberish when you look at it; you may not show up for things you have on your calendar or get dates wrong. Everyone makes mistakes, of course, but if this is a chronic problem or you just can't seem to get a handle on your schedule even when you sit down and try to figure out what to do and what to skip, it may mean depression.
Inability to Concentrate
Depressed people often have trouble concentrating and focusing. Your mind may wander, even to thoughts of death or suicide, and you may feel like you just can't get it together.
Are you experiencing any of these signs and symptoms? Irritability, excessive sleepiness, lack of interest, and inability to concentrate were the biggest players when I was in the throws of depression. Alone, these signs and symptoms can be anything but together you could be depressed. If you are experiencing multiple signs and symptoms please contact your doctor for evaluation.