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signs & symptoms of depressionPeople with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency and duration of symptoms will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness.

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Here are the Symptoms of Depression

1. Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood

One of the most common symptoms of depression is a constant and overwhelming feeling of sadness. You may also just feel empty, apathetic. Anxiety often accompanies depression. It may be intense, as though one is in great danger. In the case of anxiety associated with depression, that state of tension may persist for no apparent reason.

 

2. Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism

When you are in a depression, you may not be able to see your way out. It may feel as if there is no light at the end of the tunnel. You may begin to lose all hope for things improving, for life getting any better.

 

3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness

You may think that it’s your own personal failing, that it’s your fault that you aren’t happier or more productive. The fact is that those feelings are direct symptoms of the illness.

 

4. Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities

You may lose interest in everything around you. You may not want to do anything or see anyone. Things that would bring you pleasure before are now just one more burden to deal with. Most people even lose interest in sex, others use it as an escape, like alcohol or drugs.

 

5. Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”

Your thinking may be slower, your reactions slower, even your movements may become slower, or seem slower. The slowness is further complicated by fatigue, by feeling overwhelmingly tired a lot or even all the time.

 

6. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions

Depression can affect your ability to make decisions, think clearly, perform complicated tasks, concentrate, and remember things. You may feel that you don’t remember things that you did before, that you cannot focus on your work, or that you are unable to make decisions.

 

7. Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

Sleep disturbances are common symptoms of depression. A “good night’s sleep” becomes virtually impossible. Many people complain of waking up in the middle of the night with their mind racing, wondering how they are going to overcome all of the obstacles before them. Others do little other than sleep but never feel rested. In both cases, the built up fatigue can aggravate every other aspect of depression.

 

8. Appetite and/or weight changes

Depression affects the appetite in one way or another. Often, you just lose interest in eating because the food has no taste. When anxiety is high, you may not be able to eat. In some cases, however, people will overeat out of frustration or misery.

 

9. Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts

When you suffer from depression, thoughts of suicide are often common. If there is no relief over a long period of time, suicide can feel like the only way to end the pain.

 

10. Restlessness, irritability

You can never relax, and you never feel rested. It’s not surprising that you would feel angry, irritable, never peaceful. Men may manifest that irritability by lashing out at the people around them, having a volatile temper, not being able to sit still, and perhaps even feeling angry at themselves for not being able to pull out of it on their own.

 

11. Persistent physical symptoms

The stress, tension and fatigue of depression can often manifest themselves as physical symptoms. People may experience stomachaches, indigestion, constant headaches, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, etc. It is always possible that these symptoms indicate another medical condition so it is important in either case that you consult a physician. The symptoms are real and need to be treated.

If these signs and symptoms describe you or a man that you care about, it will be very important to get help from friends, family or health care provider. If you are unsure who to approach, read Where To Get Help to get tips and helpful information to guide you.

 

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Source: National Institute of Mental Health

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