While everyone feels sad from time to time, major depression is very different. Major depressive disorder or clinical depression causes you to experience feelings of sadness, loneliness, or a loss of interest in things you once enjoyed. When these feelings occur for more than two weeks, doctors may diagnose this as major depressive disorder.

Common symptoms of depression
Symptoms of depression can vary. They may manifest themselves differently from person to person. However, for most people, depression symptoms affect their ability to perform daily activities, interact with others or go to work. If you suffer from depression you may often experience several of the following:

The most common symptom of depression is a feeling of sadness or emptiness that lasts for more than two weeks. A person may describe this symptom as a feeling of “hopelessness.” They may feel as if life will not get better and that this intense level of sadness will last forever.

Continual feelings of worthlessness, guilt or helplessness often accompany the condition. People tend to focus on personal shortcomings or past failures. They often blame themselves when their life isn’t going the way they would like.

Depression may cause people to get easily frustrated or angered, even over small or insignificant matters. This often relates back to a person experiencing levels of tension and fatigue that makes it difficult to get through the day. Men and women may display irritability symptoms differently from each other. Women often report feeling angry at one moment, and then tearful at the next. Men may appear volatile or aggressive due to their depression. Traditional male roles in society may also mean that a man displays irritability for not being able to “get it together” and overcome depressive symptoms.

People with depression often experience lack of energy or feel tired all the time. Small tasks, like showering or getting out of bed, may seem to require more effort than one can muster. Fatigue can play a role in other symptoms associated with depression, such as withdrawal and apathy. You may feel overwhelmed at the mere thought of exertion or going outdoors.

Depression is often the result of imbalanced chemicals in the brain. However, people experiencing depression may blame themselves for their symptoms instead. Statements such as “I can’t do anything right” or “everything is my fault,” become the norm for you.

Crying spells
People who have depression may find themselves crying frequently for no apparent reason. Crying spells can be a symptom of post-partum depression, which can occur in a woman after she’s given birth.

People with depression commonly lose interest or stop finding pleasure in activities that they once enjoyed, including sex.

Anxiety is a feeling of impending doom or danger, even when there isn’t a justifiable reason. Depression can cause a person to feel anxious all the time. A person may say they are constantly tense, but there’s no direct threat or identifiable source for this tension.

Agitation and restlessness, including pacing, an inability to sit still, or hand wringing may occur with depression.

Lack of concentration
People with depression may have a difficult time remembering, maintaining focus, or making decisions. Fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, or feeling “numb” can turn decision-making into a talk that is difficult to accomplish. Friends or family members may discuss specific dates or events, but you may not remember just moments later due to concentrating lack of concentration. This inability to concentrate can lead to withdrawal in a depressed person.

Many people with depression shut themselves off from the world. They may isolate themselves, not answer the phone, or refuse to go out with friends. You feel as if you’re “numb,” and that nothing will bring you joy.

Sleep problems
People’s sleep habits are likely to change as a result of depression. They may not be able to fall asleep or stay asleep. They may wake up in the middle of the night and not go back to sleep at all. You may sleep for long periods and find that you don’t want to get out of bed.

Overeating or loss of appetite
Depression can often cause a lack of interest in food and weight loss. In other people, depression leads to overeating and weight gain. This is because a person may feel so frustrated or miserable that they turn to food as a means to escape their problems.

Thoughts of suicide
Thinking or fantasizing about death is a serious sign that needs to be addressed right away.

To take a Mental Health Screening Test go to: https://eapassist.com.au/screening-tools/