A message with love:
I write this to you, dear reader, whether you are depressed, or afraid of being dragged into the wormhole of depression. The aim of this article is to let you know what to expect of depression. It will tell you more about depression, the symptoms of depression, specifically clinical depression, and the symptoms associated with it, ranging from the bearable mild symptoms to unbearable severe ones.
You need to know this in order to do all in your power to get out of depression if you are depressed, or not to slip into depression if you are not. I say this because depression does not hit in one night. The symptoms appear gradually beginning with the mild, and then the severe. You should always want to hit early, hit hard when facing clinical depression, so that you may stand up, brush yourself, and walk away, forgetting all about the experience of depression.
Any of the following symptoms, if they last for more than two weeks, merits you a visit to the doctor. If diagnosed as depressed, it is best to receive both clinical and emotional therapy for best results. You should talk to your doctor and see him or her weekly or every other week when depressed, and he or she will choose the drug and modify the dose based on the kind and stage of depression you have.
Depression symptoms include the following:
Part I: The Mild:
Sleep changes: can be insomnia or hypersomnia. Insomnia is when you face difficulty falling asleep, whether initially, or not getting enough sleep and failing to go back to sleep if you wake up too early. Hypersomnia, on the other hand, is the exact opposite; sleeping for too long to the point of exhaustion. Hypersomnia, compared to insomnia, can be considered mild, or even pleasant, as sleep is a vessel of escaping reality and your depression. Insomnia however, can be a terrible experience as we shall understand when explaining severe insomnia.
Irritability or anger: shows in the early stages of depression rather than late ones, irritability or anger are good warning signs that your mood needs attention. They manifest themselves in short temper, and when almost everything and everyone seem to get on your nerves.
Loss of energy: As a result of either insomnia or hypersomnia, you will experience loss of energy. With sleep changes, you will not have recovered enough energy as a result of insomnia, or will have slowly recovered some of it and will feel increased drowsiness as a result of hypersomnia. It is even possible to experience energy loss when depressed even if your sleep has not changed. You know you are losing your energy if your tasks feel exhausting or are taking longer to complete. You can be sure you are losing energy if it seems impossible to exercise.
Memory or concentration problems: depression can affect your memory, your concentration, your reasoning, your mind. You may find it harder to recall information or store new information. Your reasoning process can become slow or your arguments may become faulty. You may also find it difficult to concentrate on simple tasks. Concentration problems can manifest themselves severely as we shall see.
Appetite changes: feeling hungrier or fuller quickly are early signs of depression, and can stay with you throughout your depression. Whether you are eating more or less than what you are used to is associated with depression. You must expect unfavorable weight changes and be prepared to cope with it and the loss of self esteem that comes with it.
Anhedonia: it is the medical term used if you are unable to experience the same amount of pleasure that you used to when carrying out your favorite activities or hobbies. Writing, drawing, playing, exercising, sex…etc. may all seem less rewarding and more pointless.
Pain and pain sensation changes: pain may become harder to feel, or feel worse when experienced as your depression progresses. In severe cases, aches or cramps may start to appear.
Social withdrawal: whether you’re a loner or a people person, you will experience less than your usual desire for social contact. You may stay more at home, close or not answer your phone, or even close chat programs like MSN on Google Talk as soon as you start up your computer. Close ones are usually immune to this effect, where you will want to keep them exclusively close to you, but in severe cases, you will want extended times of complete isolation.
Slowing down: your actions or your speech may slow down. Stringing together a sentence may become harder, and walking may be slower. Your responses, for example when driving, may be significantly slower.
Sadness, fear, pessimism or anxiety: goes without saying, you may experience feeling sad or worried for no particular reason. It becomes almost impossible to smile, laugh or feel happiness. It is also normal under these conditions to be pessimistic, expecting the worst of scenarios or even not seeing the point of anything, a nihilistic view, if you will.
What? All this is mild?
Yes, believe you me, this is all mild. This is the not so dark side of depression. It gets pitch black. I am not saying this to scare you. I am saying this to prepare you. To know that you’re experiencing has been shared by thousands for centuries. You can have some of the above displayed symptoms, but get on with your life if not so efficiently. As we shall see, and as you may not see on many web sites, hear from many people, or get told by many doctors, the following is the scary side of depression.
It can get so bad that doing something as waiting for an hour may feel like waiting for ten. You may be able to do nothing, unable to think right, talk right, walk right. You may be unable to do anything you usually do with ease like read, cook or watch TV, or even listen to music. Nothing becomes bearable. You simply exist, waiting for the day to end as soon as it begins, wondering if the depression will ever end, wondering why me, wondering if you’ve gone mad or if you’ll ever be the same.
You may even contemplate suicide for various reasons, none of which will ever be good enough or ever make sense to a normal person. These thoughts will only make sense to their owner and only when all hope fails. Suicide is an unforgivable crime against yourself and those who love you. I personally beg you not to do it. Hope is never lost. There is always hope. It will all come to pass, and you will be grateful that you did not do it, or that you have failed at it.
The following part is not suitable for all readers. Caution is advised.
Proceed to Severe Symptoms of Depression and part 2 of this article.