The Most Common Signs of Depression

There is no surefire way to pinpoint the causes of depression but there are symptoms that provide an idea as to the extent of the problem. In addition, the indicators vary from person to person. Here are some of the most common signs that may be easy to detect:

- A persistent feeling of lethargy and emptiness

- Anxiety in many situations

- Lack of interest in anything that was a fun experience before

- Declining sex drive

- Feeling of guilt because of a failure (relationship, miscarriage, finances, etc)

- Pessimism

- Excessive weight gain or weight loss

- Suicidal tendencies and constant talk about impending doom or death

- Sleep apnea

- Inability to concentrate

- Prone to anger and restlessness

- Feeling of inadequacy

Physical reactions can also manifest, like persistent headaches, digestive disorders, acute pain as well as some psychosomatic disorders. Usually when a person experiences this feeling for a considerably long time and it becomes obvious to the people around, something should be done to help alleviate the situation. If the problem persists for a good two weeks or more, then there is a major problem that has to be addressed immediately.

Depression can strike people at various stages in their lives, such as during school days. If the child is a victim of bullying, he/she may not want to go back to school. The child cannot inform his/her parents, as the nastiness may get worse as a result. Invariably he/she sinks into a web of confusion with no way out. Post partum depression strikes some women after the birth of a child. The new mother may not be able to bond with the baby and may even resent the child, for no sensible reason really, just a feeling of despondency or fatigue. When a relationship goes bust, it may signal the end of life and all it brings to the table. If the person is a victim of abuse in a marital union or has been cheated on persistently, he/she may not know how to deal with it and can consequently sink into immense depression.

These are basic signs that are exhibited at various stages of life and if a person is prone to suffering from such feelings, it can signal an anxiety disorder. When things get too hard to handle, it is time to reach out to someone to help you out of the gloom. The problem here is that while the victim may know that something is wrong, he/she may not have the inclination or willpower to reach out for help. If a loved one or a close friend realizes that there is a problem, it is important to help the depressed individual so that he/she does not engage in foolish or harmful actions.

Sometimes symptoms are subtle and may not be easily noticed, but if something smells fishy, you know what you have to do to help a friend. If the individual displays suicidal tendencies, it must be attended to immediately by talking things over with a qualified counselor or reaching a suicide hotline number.

Dr. James S. Pendergraft opened the Orlando Women's Center in March 1996 to provide a full range of health care for women.

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