What are the symptoms of depression? If you have a feeling like this then you suffer from depression. "I felt detached from the world around me. All emotions “ love, affection, anger“ were gone. Actually, I can't say I had no emotions, I did, but they all seemed desperately negative. Most involved fear. Fear that I would never escape the condition."
Here is another symptoms of having a depression.
"I was so scared of being alone with my thoughts. At night, everything seemed so bleak. I couldn't concentrate on anything; I couldn't read or watch TV. I couldn't relax or unwind. Sleep seemed impossible “ so many thoughts were racing through my mind. I would spend hours fantasizing about ways of killing myself."
"Everything to do with everyday life seemed like such hard work. I simply didn't have the energy to go to work, to see friends, to shop, cook or clean. It all seemed pointless! What was the point in eating, when I didn't even want to be alive?" Depression is a sickness that you need to b e aware of. Many people suffer this disease and you need a specialist to heal this problem.
This booklet describes the symptoms of depression and the different kinds of treatment available. It suggests ways that people can help themselves, and what family and friends can do. It also tells you where to find further advice and information.
If you are depressed, you may feel that nothing can help. But this is untrue. Deciding to do something is the most important step you can take. Most people recover from bouts of depression, and some even look back on it as a useful experience, which forced them to take stock of their lives and make changes in their lifestyle.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Depression shows up in many different ways. People don't always realize what's going on, because their problems seem to be physical, not mental. They tell themselves they're simply under the weather or feeling tired. But, if you tick off five or more of the following symptoms, it's likely you're depressed.
* being restless and agitated
* waking up early, having difficulty sleeping, or sleeping more
* feeling tired and lacking energy; doing less and less
* using more tobacco, alcohol or other drugs than usual
* not eating properly and losing or putting on weight
* crying a lot
* difficulty remembering things
* physical aches and pains with no physical cause
* feeling low-spirited for much of the time, every day
* being unusually irritable or impatient
* getting no pleasure out of life or what you usually enjoy
* losing interest in your sex life
* finding it hard to concentrate or make decisions
* blaming yourself and feeling unnecessarily guilty about things
* lacking self-confidence and self-esteem
* being preoccupied with negative thoughts
* feeling numb, empty and despairing
* feeling helpless
* distancing yourself from others; not asking for support
* taking a bleak, pessimistic view of the future
* experiencing a sense of unreality
* self-harming (by cutting yourself, for example)
* thinking about suicide.
People who are depressed are often very anxious. It's not clear whether the anxiety leads into the depression or whether the depression causes the anxiety. A person feeling anxious may have a mind full of busy, repetitive thoughts, which make it hard to concentrate, relax, or sleep. They may have physical symptoms, such as headaches, aching muscles, sweating and dizziness. It may cause physical exhaustion and general ill health.
What causes depression?
There's no one cause of depression; it varies very much from person to person and can happen for a combination of factors. Although depression, as such, doesn't seem to be inherited through the genes (with the possible exception of manic depression), some of us are more prone to depression than others. This could be because of the way we're made, or because of our experiences or family background.
Past experiences can have a profound effect on how we feel about ourselves in the present, and if those feelings are very negative, they can be the start of a downward spiral. In many cases, the first time someone becomes depressed, it's triggered by an unwelcome or traumatic event, such as being sacked, divorced, physically attacked or raped.
Depression is seen by some experts as a form of unfinished mourning. Often events or experiences that trigger depression can also be seen as a loss of some kind. It could be following the actual death of someone close, a major life change (such as moving house or changing jobs) or simply moving from one phase of life into another, as we reach retirement or our children leave home. Its not just the negative experience that causes the depression, but how we deal with it. If the feelings provoked are not expressed or explored at the time, they fester and contribute towards depression. It's important to acknowledge and grieve over what we have lost in order to be able to move on successfully.
Depression may also be caused by an under-active thyroid. The thyroid gland controls metabolic rate and, if it is not working properly, can cause you to experience various symptoms. If it is under-active, you will feel sluggish and lethargic, may put on weight, and feel depressed. If it is overactive, you may feel very speed up, lose weight and have symptoms similar to mania. It is important to have a thyroid function test (a simple blood test) to make sure that this is not the cause of your depression, especially if you cannot account for it in other ways, such as recent life events. If an under-active thyroid is diagnosed, it can be treated successfully with appropriate medication.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that occasionally people become very depressed in response to certain foods. Such a reaction is very individual, and people are often not aware of the particular food substance or drink that is causing the problem. But if you suddenly feel depressed for no apparent reason, it may be worth considering whether you have eaten or drunk something new, and whether this might have caused your sudden change of mood. If this is the cause, your mood should lift very quickly, so long as you don't consume any more of the particular item.
Poor diet, lack of physical fitness, and illnesses, such as flu, can all leave us feeling depressed. Frequent use of some recreational drugs can also play a part.
It's clear that people who are depressed show changes to the chemical messengers (called neurotransmitters) in the brain. It's less clear whether this is a cause or a result of the depression.
What can I do to help myself to get rid of depression?
Depression has one major characteristic that you need to be aware of when thinking about what you can do to defeat it. It can feed on itself. In other words, you get depressed and then you get more depressed about being depressed. Negative thoughts become automatic and are difficult for you to challenge. Being in a state of depression can then, itself, become a bigger problem than the difficulties that caused it in the first place. You need to break the hold that the depression has on you.
An important thing to remember is that there are no instant solutions to problems in life. Solving problems involves time, energy and work. When you are feeling depressed, you may well not be feeling energetic or motivated to work. But if you are able to take an active part in your treatment, it should help your situation.
Fighting negative attitudes
Try to recognize the pattern of negative thinking when you are doing it, and replace it with a more constructive activity. Look for things to do that occupy your mind.
Activity is good for the mind
Although you may not feel like it, its very therapeutic to take part in physical activities, for 20 minutes a day. Playing sports, running, dancing, cycling, and even brisk walking can stimulate chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which can help you to feel better.
Caring for yourself
You need to do things that will improve the way you feel about yourself. Allow yourself positive experiences and treats that reinforce the idea that you deserve good things. Pay attention to your personal appearance. Set yourself goals that you can achieve and that will give you a sense of satisfaction.
Look after yourself by eating healthily. Oily fish, in particular, may help alleviate depression. Don't abuse your body with tobacco, alcohol or other drugs, which make it worse.
Alternative and complementary therapies
Practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine concern themselves with the person as a whole, and don't merely treat their symptoms. They can take more time with you than a GP can.
Practitioners may offer treatments such as acupuncture, massage, homeopathy and herbal medicine that many people with depression have found helpful. St John's Wort is one of the herbal remedies that have become very popular, and may help to lift your mood. But if you are already taking other medication, it may not be safe to combine them. Consult your pharmacist or GP for more information.
It can be a great relief to meet and share experiences with other people who are going through the same thing you are. It can break down feelings of isolation and, at the same time, show you how other people have coped. Finding that you can support others can help you, too.
These groups are often led by people who have overcome depression themselves. For help in locating local self-help groups, talk to your GP .
If you have these feelings then you I am sure you are depress. You must not neglect these signs or symptoms of depression. Call a Doctor.