Depression is a mood state that goes well beyond feeling temporarily sad or blue. Depression interferes with daily life, normal functioning and causes pain for both the person with the disorder and those who care about him or her.
Symptoms of Depression
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- Appetite or weight changes
- Sleep changes
- Anger or irritability
- Loss of energy
- Reckless or escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports
- Concentration problems
- Unexplained aches and pains such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain
Signs That Professional Treatment is Needed
It’s important to remember that these symptoms can be part of life’s normal lows. However, when these symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that’s when it’s time to seek help. Depression is also a major risk factor for suicide. The deep despair and hopelessness that goes along with depression can make suicide feel like the only way to escape the pain. Thoughts of death or suicide are a serious symptom of depression, so take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously.
Warning signs of suicide include:
- Talking about killing or harming one’s self
- A preoccupation with death or dying
- Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish
- Calling or visiting people to say goodbye
- Getting affairs in order (giving away possessions, tying up loose ends)
- Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped.
- Isolating and withdrawing from others