Symptoms of Depression
During a depressive episode, people experience low mood and low energy most of the day, nearly every day. It becomes your normal emotional experience. Symptoms include feelings of emptiness or hopelessness, as well as irritability. You lose interest in things that you enjoyed and were important to you, like hobbies, work, or sex. Depression can affect your ability to sleep, and even people who manage to get enough sleep often feel tired anyway. Other people with depression experience hypersomnia, or oversleeping. Regardless of how much sleep they get, most people with depression wind up feeling and acting lethargic. Depression affects appetite for a lot of people, as well. For many, that means reduced appetite and weight loss. For others, it means food cravings and weight gain.
Depression can also cause problems with memory and concentration. People who are depressed have frequent feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness. Complications like social isolation, self-harm, and conflicts with friends and family can arise. And while it’s unpleasant to talk about, it needs to be noted: frequent thoughts of death or suicide are a part of depression, and one of its biggest risks.
Of course, not every person who experiences depression will be feeling all of these things, and people who do feel them won’t necessarily feel them all of the time. Not all depression is equal in severity. And just like other ailments, the specific symptoms that appear can vary from person to person and case to case.
Image: Claudia, via Unsplash.