Just A Little Down Or In Depression – How To Tell The Difference?

We all feel a little blue from time to time. Life can throw one curve ball after another at us and wear down our inner joy.

The question is though, how can we tell when that gloomy feeling has progressed to a form of depression?

Knowing the symptoms and tell-tale signs of depression and identifying them in time can save much heartache and worry. Not only should you be able to recognise the signs within yourself, but be alert for these in your friends and family too.

Depression no longer has the stigma that used to be associated with the subject and instead is becoming a common word in many homes. Take a few moments now to inform yourself of the signs and symptoms of depression.

Remember many of these symptoms may be attributed to other events in your life or that of your family and friends. Just because you are suffering from one of the symptoms listed below, certainly does not automatically diagnose you with depression!

That being said, there is much truth in the old saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’, so be alert for the occurrence of several symptoms at the same time and act quickly to see whether those alarm bells have a reason to be ringing.

Physical Symptoms

– Suffering from sleep problems (this can include difficulty in getting to sleep at night, or waking very early and having difficulty returning to sleep)

– A significant change in weight (this can be loss or gain)

– Feeling tired all of the time

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– Feeling run down, headaches or muscle aches and pains

– Often feeling on the verge of tears

– Lacking in energy

Behaviour Symptoms

– A withdrawal from friends and or family

– A reluctance or refusal to socialise, go out, or complete usual work (eg school work or secular work)

– Drinking more alcohol/relying on alcohol

– Losing interest in hobbies or activities that are usually enjoyable

Thoughts and Feelings

– A sense of feeling overwhelmed or a constant guilt

– Over sensitive or irritable

– A sense of sadness

– Continual thoughts such as being a failure, worthless, that life is not worth living or that friends or family would be better off without you

– Experiencing suicidal thoughts or self-harm thoughts

Don’t immediately panic if some of the above symptoms describe you, or a close friend or family member – surely all of us suffer from a number of these symptoms from time to time! Instead be on the alert for symptoms that last for weeks, even going into months. If symptoms are experienced for the most part of each day, rather than a fleeting thought or feeling, this should again be a warning.

Whether you have fears for yourself or someone close to you – remember that speedy action is vital. In today’s world depression certainly is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed by, so keep yourself informed of the symptoms and listen to those warning bells if you hear as much as a tinkle!

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