Being sad and temperamental is so common that it is unsurprising that we all experience these feelings almost every day.
But when these feelings start to become regular and intrude on relationships, work, and personal satisfaction, then we should be alarmed. Having depression, or major depressive disorder, is characterised by these feelings of low mood for at least two weeks. This mood can seem like it has come from nowhere and have no obvious cause.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms and signs of depression can include:
- Feeling sad and upset nearly every day.
- Gaining little to no enjoyment from previously pleasurable activities.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (sleeping too little or too much).
- Sudden weight gain or loss.
- Being fatigued, tired, or having low energy every day. Often being too tired to complete simple tasks like cooking food or washing dishes.
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt.
- Constant feelings of indecisiveness and low motivation.
- Being unable to concentrate on tasks.
- Self-harm, Suicidal thoughts and attempts.
Any of these symptoms in itself can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life for an individual, as well as their surroundings. Many people suffering from depression will be unable to recognise these signs in themselves, especially with cases of babies and children. Depression is one of the major factors leading to suicide and can have many other negative physical and mental impacts if left untreated. Therefore, it is important that if you suspect someone is suffering from depression that you offer help.