Depression is an illness (some classify it as a mental disorder) characterized by frequently recurrent (or well-nigh permanent) feelings of low mood, hopelessness, guilt, worthlessness, passive aggressive issues, nervousness, irritability, lethargy, and “emptiness”. Signs of a depression disorder are many, and vary by the individual as well as by gender, and may occur or recur in any number of recognizable patterns and combinations. Individuals who show symptoms of depression may tend to exhibit a sudden, marked loss of enthusiasm for and interest in activities which were once highly pleasurable for and generally associated with them, such as sports, charitable activities, church attendance, or even sexual intercourse with a spouse or loved one.
Emotional Signs Of Depression
The Telltale Signs Of Depression
Sufferers of unexplained spells of moodiness or “blue” spells are likely exhibiting signs of depression. Some of the most frequent and telling symptoms include the continual presence of a “down” mood, punctuated by persistently recurring periods of sadness, anxiety, and irascibility. Others may exhibit a noticeable lack of energy, characterized by feelings of continual fatigue, or feelings of the world around them having suddenly “slowed down” around them.
Many who show recurrent depression symptoms experience mild to extreme difficulty in simply concentrating on one specific topic at a time (i.e., appear “scatterbrained”), and may show signs of difficulty in making decisions. These latter depressive symptoms are routinely accompanied by a noticeable loss of short term memory, brought about by anxiety overtaxing the mental faculties and interfering with the ability to reason coherently and rationally.
Physical Signs Of Depression
Other signs and symptoms of depression may include recurrent bouts of insomnia, long spells of frequent oversleeping, sometimes lapsing (in extreme cases) into a state of catatonia. Avoidance of the outside world and its pressures, commitments, and judgments sometimes drives the sufferer to stay locked up in their room, simply shutting out all outside influences and concerns.
Again, it needs to be stressed that the signs of depression are many and varied. In some cases, individuals may experience a marked fluctuation in body weight, consisting of either a rapid increase or decrease. Overeating, sometimes accompanied by bulimia (“binge and purge” syndrome) may point to other, related issues with body confidence and self-image. Others may exhibit a desire to simply stop eating altogether, unrelated to any normal concerns for weight. They may simply find the process of ingesting and digesting food “too troublesome” to bother with.
Of course, extreme cases point out the dangers of one of the ultimate signals that depression may be present: the adoption of a nihilistic world view, as exhibited in public utterances of a new found pessimistic philosophy of life, or in exhibition of art works featuring extremely negative or unpleasant themes. In some cases, the individual may begin “cutting” themselves. Some may progress to the point of harboring suicidal thoughts, or actually attempting suicide.
Some signs of depression are easily recognized, while others remain visible only to the closest of family members or friends. These signs should never be dismissed or ignored as “just the way he/she is”. Professional help is always available.