SEVEN SIGNS OF DEPRESSION
- Persistent Sadness or Low Mood: This is more than just feeling blue occasionally. It’s a deep, pervasive sadness that doesn’t lift, often described as feeling empty, hopeless, or melancholic. This mood persists most of the day, nearly every day, and is one of the hallmark symptoms of depression.
- Loss of Interest or Pleasure in Activities (Anhedonia): This symptom is particularly striking because it represents a significant shift from one’s previous level of interest or enjoyment. People with depression often lose interest in hobbies, socializing, or sex. They may no longer find pleasure in things they used to love, which can further exacerbate feelings of sadness or emptiness.
- Changes in Appetite or Weight: Depression can disrupt eating habits, leading to significant weight changes. Some people experience a reduced appetite and may lose weight without trying, while others might find themselves eating more and gaining weight. It’s important to note that these changes are significant enough to be noticeable and are not related to conscious changes in diet or exercise.
- Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, and hypersomnia (sleeping too much) are both common in depression. These sleep disturbances are not just occasional; they happen almost every night and can have a significant impact on a person’s daily life. Poor sleep can exacerbate other symptoms of depression, creating a vicious cycle.
- Fatigue or Loss of Energy: This is a profound sense of tiredness or lack of energy. People with depression might find even small tasks, like getting out of bed or getting dressed, to be exhausting. This fatigue is present even when one has not exerted themselves physically, and it does not improve with rest.
- Feelings of Worthlessness or Excessive Guilt: Individuals with depression may harbor negative and critical feelings about themselves. They might ruminate over past failures or perceived shortcomings, feeling guilty about things that are not their fault. This symptom can be particularly painful and debilitating, leading to a lowered sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
- Difficulty Concentrating or Making Decisions: Depression can impair cognitive abilities. People may find it hard to focus, remember things, or make decisions. They might be indecisive about trivial matters or have trouble concentrating on tasks or conversations.
It’s important to note that depression is not just a temporary change in mood or a sign of weakness. It’s a real medical condition with psychological, social, biological and sometimes spiritual origins. It can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background.
If these symptoms are familiar and affecting your life, it is crucial to seek professional help. Depression is treatable, and early intervention can improve outcomes. Treatments can include psychotherapy, medications like antidepressants, or a combination of both. Lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, improved diet, and good sleep hygiene, can help manage symptoms.
When everything else fails, the word of God never fails. If you can live by God’s word, you are sure of overcoming depression. Living by the word of God is the best way to prevent depression in the first place.
Lastly, if you or someone you know is having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, it is critical to get immediate help such as contacting a mental health professional or a crisis hotline. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Do not hesitate to reach out for counselling. The good Lord is waiting to heal you from every struggle.