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Symptoms of Depression

The feeling and emotion of depression affects people in different ways, and everyone has a different way of dealing with these situations and emotions. The chemical imbalance in your body as a result of depression can cause a number of different symptoms and if allowed to build up over time can cause a range of harmful effects. Common characteristics displayed by high scorers on the depression scale as part of the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Test included feeling:

  • Self-disparaging
  • Dispirited, gloomy, blue
  • Convinced that life has no meaning or value
  • Pessimistic about the future
  • Unable to experience enjoyment or satisfaction
  • Unable to become interested or involved
  • Slow, lacking in initiative

More specifically, depression can result in symptoms mentally, physically, emotionally and behaviourally. Below are some of the common stress responses that are displayed by depression sufferers.

Mental Symptoms

  • Low self-esteem and self confidence
  • Lack of motivation and little interest in things
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Lack of enjoyment
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming someone else
  • Feeling anxious or worried
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Thinking life is unfair
  • Believing you always make mistakes
  • Thinking you are a burden

Physical Symptoms

  • Slowed movement or speech
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of energy
  • Change in appetite or weight
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Unexplained aches and pains
  • Lack of energy or lack of interest in sex
  • Changes to the menstrual cycle
  • Disturbed sleep patterns
  • Self-harm
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness

Behavioural Symptoms

  • Not performing well at work
  • Taking part in fewer social activities and avoiding contact with friends
  • Reduced hobbies and interests
  • Difficulties in home and family life

Emotional Symptoms

  • Crying
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Feeling irritable and intolerant of others
  • Continuous low mood or sadness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • Anger and frustration
  • Anxiety and stress

As a general rule, the Depression Alliance recommends that if you have experienced four or more of these symptoms for most of the day nearly every day, for over two weeks, then you should seek medical help. If you are concerned about you mental health or want to find out more information, it is advisable to see a medical professional as soon as possible.

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