A romance gone wrong, a death of a loved one, a disappointment in your endeavours are just a few of the reasons why we become sad. Sadness and grief are normal. It’s just how the body reacts and cope to some of life’s stressors. Typically, most people will heal and then revert back to their natural selves. However, if these feelings of sadness and grief do not go away, and they start to disrupts with the person’s daily life, it is no longer normal. It becomes a mood disorder, called depression.

It is important that we watch out for depression in those people we care about. If it is unrecognized and untreated, it could lead to suicide ideations. There are a lot of depression symptoms we could watch out for as it could affect almost every aspect of a person’s life. It affects your physical health, your thoughts, your behaviour, your feelings and even your relationships with other people.

Depression is more than just a state of being sad. Most depressed people also experience irritability, anger, hopelessness, anxiety, fear, fatigue, confusion and feelings of shame and worthlessness. They often feel weak and ill. Others even have hallucinations. Here are other signs of depression:

1. A lack of interest in pleasurable activities or even in any activity
2. Inability to feel pleasure, which is known as anhedonia
3. Weight changes ( a loss or gain of at least 5% of the total body weight in a month)
4. Insomnia, oversleeping and other sleep problems
5. Restlessness
6. Slowed movements
7. Feelings of guilt about something that they cannot control
8. “Brain fog” or the decrease ability to concentrate, think and make decisions, and
9. Thoughts about death such as suicidal ideations, whether its planned or not

People with depression often have crying spells to express their sadness. Some of them self-medicate or even try to numb themselves by abusing a drugs and alcohol. Others engage in self-destructive behaviour to try to relieve the emotional pain they feel. These activities include overeating, sexual promiscuity, or physically injuring themselves.

Depression can either slowly progress or suddenly occur due to a stressful or traumatic experience. It is important for people to understand that those who feel depressed need all the support they need. Depression is a real illness and they cannot just simply snap out of it. They need your help, and when you know about the symptoms of depression, you’ll be able to identify who needs support.

Just like other illnesses, depression can be treated. There are a lot of treatment modalities that can help control and diminish its signs and symptoms. Medications, psychotherapy and counselling are commonly used to treat depression. There are several options for antidepressants and several forms of psychotherapy available, so it is important that anyone suffering from depression symptoms to go see a doctor. With the proper support and the right treatment, a depressed person can return to his normal self and become a productive and happy member of society once more.

Remember that depression is the number one cause of suicide. Do not let depression take one of your loved one away. Watch out for the different depressions symptoms, and if you notice that someone you love has these symptoms, make sure that he or she gets treated. It could mean the difference between life and death.

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