Depression can be overwhelming. And, when you’re in the midst of it, you can feel like the only person in the world that is struggling, which can make you feel very alone. Learning how to deal with depression can be the difference between you being able to overcome it or simply giving in to the symptoms of it day after day. In this article, we’ll cover common signs and symptoms that can help you determine if you have depression, how to deal with grief in your everyday life, and how to find professional treatment for depression.
A major depressive episode is defined as experiencing five or more of the following symptoms every day (or most days) for two weeks or more:
Depressed or irritable mood
Sleep problems (i.e., sleeping too much or too little; sleeping mainly during the day)
Change in interests (i.e., not being interested in what you used to enjoy) or low motivation
Excessive guilt or unrealistically low self-image
Significantly low energy and/or change in self-care (i.e., not showering anymore)
Significantly worse concentration (i.e., sharp decline in grades or performance)
Changes in appetite (i.e., eating too much or too little)
Agitation or severe anxiety/panic attacks
Suicidal thoughts, plans or behaviors — including self-harm (i.e., intentionally cutting or burning yourself)
How to know if you have depression – signs and symptoms
Unlike other mental health disorders that can be easier to detect, people with depression may find they have a tendency to “shrug off” their depressive feelings, trying to convince themselves it’s just a few off days or that feeling down or sad is a normal part of life. And it is, but for how long? How do you tell the difference between sadness and depression?
If you’ve wondered if you could have depression or if the feelings you’ve been experiencing are reasonable, there are some common signs and symptoms to be aware of that can help you decide if you should seek professional treatment. These symptoms generally occur for most of your day without letting up and can continue on for days or even weeks and months at a time.