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How to Recognize Depression

Depression can be a major problem at this time of year.  Holidays can be a huge source of stress and pain for some people, resulting in depression.  Sometimes depression isn’t obvious, either to the depressed person or to the people around them.  Two major things to look for include are:

  • Loss of interest in normal daily activities
  • Periods of feeling down, hopelessness, and sadness, or crying more than normal

Mind you, you or the person you think is depressed may or may not exhibit both of those things (or variations of them).  For example, I realized that I was apathetic about daily things, former favorite activities (like hobbies), and I felt hopeless at times, but I rarely cried and I rarely felt what I would call sad.

Other symtoms of depression include the following:

  • Sleep problems, including either sleeping too much or not enough
  • Eating changes: either eating more than necessary or not eating normally
  • Impaired concentration: lack of focus, inability to concentrate or difficulty making decisions
  •  Less interest in sex
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Agitation:  you may be easily annoyed, irritable, and/or restless
  • Fatigue:  your body movements may slow down.  You may feel weariness and lack of energy daily.
  • Depression can also result in gastrointestinal problems (constipation, diarrhea,  indigestion), headache, and backache.  Many people suffering from depression also exhibit signs of anxiety.
  • Male depression can result in different symptoms.  For example, men rarely cry as often as women.  Other symptoms of male depression:
    • Violence
    • Anger and frustration
    • Losing weight without trying
    • More risk taking
    • Alcohol or substance abuse
    • Isolation from family and friends

Sources of information:

Mayo Clinic

 NIMH

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Filed under Depression, Health