The first symptoms of depression are often inconspicuous, so people do not pay any special attention to them which is why it is not easy to diagnose depression.
Here are the most common depression symptoms:
1. Sadness, moodiness (throughout the whole day, almost every day), or “bad mood” and grouch;
2. Anxiety, nervousness, sudden attacks of anxiety and sadness, anxiety, fear of the future (existential fear) or indefinite feeling of fear, alienation and absence, unwilling to being company;
3. Decreased energy and daily fluctuations in energy level (these individuals often have more energy in the evening;
4. Poor concentration and memory, absentmindedness, confusion, indecision;
5. Insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, waking up early in the morning, at least 2 hours before the usual time, after which the person can no longer fall asleep).
Due to the reduction in total sleep, many try to sleep during the day.These people often feel bad in the morning, right after waking up; they are moody, cannot get out of bed and experience:
6. Bad thoughts and exaggerated sense of guilt.They are preoccupied with the past or current problems (obsessive thoughts), question their behavior to other people in the past and excessively blame themselves for neglecting others, as well as for all all the bad things that have happened to them in life.
They often have a feeling of hatred and have a disgust with themself;
7. Feeling of loss (failure, loss of reputation and money, betrayed love or death of a loved one, and the like), which leads to a feeling of inferiority, loss of self-esteem and self-confidence, accompanied with a fear of abandonment and loss of a person.
Note: There is a normal sense of loss, followed by sadness, when losing a close person, money, reputation, health and so on.
Unlike the feeling of loss in depression, normal grieving is not accompanied with suicidal ideas or feelings of deep hopelessness and worthlessness, sadness and it gradually disappears after a shorter or longer period.
For example, after the death of a close person, usually it takes about a year for someone to get back into their psycho-physical balance and become able to resume a relatively normal life.So, if the grief and mourning extends and complicates in different ways, in this case, it may indicate a depression.
8. Indifference, loss of interest, difficulty in enjoying all, or nearly all activities, inability to laugh and achieve satisfaction in different areas of life, reduction of sex drive.
9. Feeling of hopelessness and helplessness, intermittent condition of stupor, looking in one spot, lack of energy, speaking in a low voice (sometimes almost in a whisper), frequent and violent mood swings, feeling of painful loneliness, even in the company of a loved one
10.Poor appetite or excessive eating,
11. Constant feeling of fatigue and rapid muscle fatigue, weakness and a feeling of disability for work or activity
12. Lethargy, almost any obligation seems hard, pessimism in everything that relates to future, dejection, concern over unimportant things, hypersensitivity, crying, sighing
13. Thinking how worthless life is, about death and suicide.These thoughts occur in about 60% of depressed individuals (often think of the reunion with their loved ones after death, or about their family’s reactions to their deaths and the like).
14. Some people, instead of insomnia, sleep excessively (sleep per 12 hours, or more, each day)
These symptoms appear in different combinations.The symptoms could possibly indicate depression only whenthey last for more than two weeks.
Some people notice these changes in themselves, but usually they deny them initially and recognize them after some time.Many neglect their symptoms, or associate them with certain traumatic events in their life. Sometimes depression may hide behind any physical interference.
In fact, some people deny their psychological symptoms, and complain only to physical symptoms, which most commonly affect their central nervous system, or their cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal system.
These symptoms include complaining of lethargy, frequent headaches, increased heart rate, palpitations and heartbeat skipping, dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain and cramps, constipation, back pain, feeling of pressure or heaviness in chest, shaking and numbness in some parts of the body, most often in arms and legs.
Depressed individuals can complain to other, under-defined physical health problems. Usually the cause for these health problems cannot be determined. Women often experience irregular menstrual cycles.
Individuals who have shown the first symptoms of depression cannot notice any changes in themselves, but people around them can notice certain signs that indicate depression:
- The person is usually silent, dejected, moves slowly, responds questions after a short break; the person is mostly quiet, monotonous, and often gives one-word answers
- The individual neglects personal hygiene and appearance
- Often has a stooped posture, sombre mood, and sad facial expression
In addition to the previously mentioned symptoms, there are many other symptoms that could indicate depression, including irritability, mood swings, restlessness, problems in school, truancy, antisocial behavior, promiscuity, poor hygiene, increased sensitivity to rejection and abuse of psychoactive substances.