Depression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. Depression affects people in different ways and can cause a wide variety of symptoms. This can range from lasting feelings of unhappiness and hopelessness, to losing interest in the things you used to enjoy and feeling very tearful. Many people with depression also have symptoms of anxiety.
Most people experience feelings of stress, anxiety or low mood during difficult times. A low mood may improve after a short period of time, rather than being a sign of depression.
Symptoms of depression can vary widely from person to person and can often be quite complex. The symptoms of depression range from mild to severe; at its mildest, you may simply feel persistently low in spirit, while severe depression can make you feel suicidal, that life is no longer worth living.
A range of symptoms, including psychological, physical and social, may be present. Depression can also be categorised into a range of severities; often symptoms of mild depression left unresolved could continue to develop in to something worse.
Some of the psychological symptoms of depression include:
- Continuous low mood or sadness
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Having low self-esteem
- Feeling tearful
- Feeling guilt-ridden
- Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
- Having no motivation or interest in things
- Finding it difficult to make decisions
- Not getting any enjoyment out of life
- Feeling anxious or worried
- Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
Some of the physical symptoms of depression include:
- Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
- Changes in appetite or weight (usually decreased, but sometimes increased)
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Lack of energy
- Low sex drive (loss of libido)
- Changes to your menstrual cycle
- Disturbed sleep – Finding it difficult to fall asleep at night or waking up very early in the morning
Some of the social symptoms of depression include:
- Avoiding contact with friends and taking part in fewer social activities
- Neglecting your hobbies and interests
- Having difficulties in your home, work or family life
As depression is often quite a complex condition, there is a wide variety of treatments available which will vary from person to person. Usually some form of counselling is involved and in some cases, medication is necessary. The full list of treatments is available on the NHS Website.
You can read more about Depression on the NHS' website by clicking the button below: