30 Nov Warning signs
Curious about the warning signs of depression? Here’s a list so you can be on the look out for your self or someone else:
Have you been feeling really sad lately?
Or maybe another word describes your feelings: empty, hopeless, guilty, worthless, helpless, irritable, restless.
Have you lost interest in activities?
Are you tired and sleeping all the time, or not sleeping at all?
Is your attention scattered or are you having trouble concentrating?
But maybe you have a good reason to feel this way. Did your pet die? Did a family member unexpectedly move out? Did you experience another form of trauma? Did your best friends turn on you? Any of these reasons and countless more are cause for feeling depressed.
But for clinical depression, you will be experiencing a lot of this pain for a long time – every day for at least two weeks – and it will impact your ability for function at work or school, at home or with friends.
According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM V- the manual which defines disorders for clinicians), you are considered to be depressed if, for at least two weeks, you:
1 Are in a depressed mood (feel sad, empty or even irritable) and/or
2 You have little interest in, or take little pleasure in, activities.
You must also have 3 or 4 of the following symptoms:
1 weight gain or loss (when not actively dieting) or a marked change in appetite
2 difficulty sleeping or disturbed sleep
3 physical agitation or retardation
4 fatigue or loss of energy
5 feelings of guilt or worthlessness
6 difficulty concentrating or making decisions
7 suicidal thoughts or plans
Turning all those warning signs into questions would look like this:
Are you feeling sad, anxious or hopeless?
Has your weight changed a lot recently?
Are you having trouble sleeping at night and prefer to sleep all day?
Are you acting out in a rebellious way?
Are your grades dropping or are you cutting school?
Are you feeling like you have body pains or no energy to do anything?
Are you using drugs or alcohol or acting out in other inappropriate ways?
Have you been thinking about death or dying lately?
How would you answer those questions?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should talk to a someone you can trust about why you are feeling and/or behaving this way. And! if you just had the thought, I don’t have anyone who wants to help me (or something similar), that just may be a warning flag right there that you might be on the road driving towards clinical depression…
Note: We are not saying that you are clinically depressed, but if you did answer yes to some questions then you deserve to feel better. You are worth it! Furthermore, if you know anyone who might be experiencing these feelings, it could change (maybe even save) their life if you become involved and help that person. Remember this as well: if you are not finding the joy you once did and you are not socializing like you once did and you do feel sad, clinicians are now asking that you monitor these early warning signs, as they may develop into depression over time.
Further more, if you do feel these sad feelings and you think you are in the early stages, keep reading, this post is meant to help!
Have you ever felt any of these symptoms? Have you ever experienced them consistently for over two weeks?