If you list the possible symptoms of depression, there are more than a hundred, because almost any discomfort in the body or change in the psyche can be its manifestation.
Here are the most common symptoms and we have organized them into nine groups. They are partly a repeat of the Hamilton Depression Scale, a template questionnaire that psychiatrists, psychotherapists and general practitioners can use to identify depression. This scale has a minimum of standard questions that help the clinician remember nothing and gather as much information as possible.
Depressed Mood Lasts Longer Than Two Weeks
Anyone can find themselves in a bad, depressed mood – getting up on the wrong foot, becoming very upset about work or personal life. And it just so happens that in everyday life, a bad mood for a few hours or days may be called “depression.” There’s no mistake about it, it’s just the way we’re used to it.
If a bad mood lasts for two weeks or longer, then it may be part of depression as an illness. Such a condition will not go away on its own and requires help from specialists. A two-week time limit is one of the main signs of clinical depression.
Can depression develop faster? Of course, if a person has other pronounced symptoms (suicidal tendencies, refusal to eat, obsessive thoughts about one’s own sinfulness), the doctor will not wait two weeks to confirm the diagnosis and begin treatment. When symptoms are serious, it is the doctor’s responsibility to save the person urgently, and the diagnosis is not really important.
The mood in depression is depressed rather than sad. The person slows down, becomes less energetic, and cannot find the energy to work and have fun. He may be sad and cry more often, but depressed and despondent is a more common symptom.
There Is Nothing to Cheer You up
A characteristic symptom of depression is a bad mood and an inability to enjoy and cheer up. Jokes of others cause a sour expression on your face and a strained, polite laugh; your favorite handicrafts become dusty, your gym membership burns out, you dont visit your BetAmo casino account for months, and an evening with friends becomes endless torture.
Everything that used to evoke keen and pleasant emotions becomes uninteresting and physically unbearable, so only the bare essentials remain in life – work and a minimal household.
It Becomes Hard to Work and Concentrate, Fatigue Sets in Quickly
On the one hand, motivation and interest are lost. On the other hand, it also becomes physically difficult to move and think.
Depressed people think for a long time, find it difficult to make decisions, and need more time to remember or understand something. It is hard to talk, and speech is constantly interrupted by long pauses.
When depressed, you don’t have to hold conferences or unload trucks to feel tired and broken. Severe fatigue comes from normal activities – working at the computer for a few hours, cleaning the house. After minimal exertion, the arms and legs fill with lead, the muscles ache, and the head splits.
Self-criticism Increases, a Strong Sense of Guilt Is Tormented
When a person is tired and after a couple of hours of work is ready to lie down, he is unlikely to think that this is an illness. First, he will think of laziness, procrastination, lack of discipline, at most – of fatigue and burnout. The work capacity will decrease further, but instead of rest and the help of a doctor, he is likely to choose work to the point of exhaustion and will reproach himself for not working enough. Exacerbated self-criticism and increased demands to oneself are also symptoms of depression.
A strong feeling of guilt can extend to the events of the past (“could have acted differently several years ago”), a sense of sinfulness may arise, as well as the belief that the current problems are punishment, a “karmic return” for the past transgressions.
No Desire to Live
Depression affects not only moods, but also the instinct for self-preservation. When nothing brings pleasure, and any movement is given through force, it is possible to begin to doubt – is it worth living at all? Is it worth taking care of yourself and moving on?
Man does not immediately come to the thought of quitting life. He or she may think that life is pointless, experience deep pessimism about the future, consume alcohol in dangerous quantities, cut himself or herself and cause other injuries.
If you have suicidal thoughts, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible, preferably by calling an ambulance.
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Depression is characterized by various problems with sleep, which are called insomnia. Doctors distinguish three types of insomnia – early, middle, and late.
With early insomnia, it is not possible to fall asleep right away. If a person constantly “tosses and turns” for half an hour or longer, this could be a sign of depression.
Average insomnia is said to be if a person sleeps restlessly, wakes up during the night and then cannot fall asleep for a long time. Single awakenings to go to the bathroom do not count.
Late insomnia is waking up much earlier than the alarm clock. People with depression may wake up at five or six in the morning with the feeling of not having slept a wink during the night. Sleep no longer comes, and the person starts the day tired and broken.
Regular Pain in the Heart, Head, and Stomach
For some people, psychosomatic symptoms come to the fore. This means that a bad mood or depression, anxiety, or stress disturb the functioning of the internal organs, and the person first of all pays attention to problems with his or her physical health. At the same time, he may assess his own mood as “normal”.
How can psychosomatic disorders be distinguished from gastritis or heart problems? First, with psychosomatic disorders, the results of tests and instrumental studies are within normal limits; a doctor finds no abnormalities. Secondly, symptoms appear or intensify after stress.