May 19, 2011

Symptoms Of Severe Depression - Know The Signs

Symptoms of severe depression

how to spot the signs and get help before it spirals out of control.

Life has many up and down moments. Depression is different from just having a bad day every now and then. Depression effects many of us and some people find that it's hard to ask for help when they suffer from depression too.

What is depression?

People who are depressed feel empty, unenthusiastic about life and at times can also feel apathetic. They are generally withdrawn from society and constantly are thinking about bad thoughts (which may also include self-harm thoughts) depressed people also feel like they're alone in this world (even if they have many loving family and friends) they can feel helpless and hopeless.

Signs of depression

Here are some of the classical signs of clinical depression that can help you to identify the symptoms.
  • feeling hopeless, guilty, helpless or useless most of the time.
  • consistantly worrying about events (whether real or imagined)
  • the inability to control negative thoughts and emotions
  • feeling trapped or suffocating with no logical reasons as to why
  • loss of apetite (including self-starvation)
  • loss of will to survive (can include self-harm and suicidal thoughts)
  • the inability to control your temper and have sudden outrages
  • thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself or others around you
  • major sleeping difficulties
  • lack of energy (severe lethargy)
  • difficulties in accepting positive events/changes
  • socially withdrawn
  • overeating
Some of these symptoms will manifest themselves if you're depressed. It's important to seek medical help if you feel the negative impacts that depression have on yourself is getting out of control (especially if you have thoughts about self-harm and suicide)

Here are some important points to consider when diagnosing depression states.

1) Adolescence and teenagers going through rapid hormonal changes can result in mood swings and natural chemical imbalances. This is entirely normal.
2) Depression is a constant thing (having a bad day every now and then does not mean you're depressed; it just means you where stressed on that day)
3) Depression and severe depression. Certain symptoms are indicative of having depression - severe depression is where the symptoms are consistant and the individual is actually attempting self-harm.
4) Woman also tend to suffer from depression more so then men. This is due to hormonal fluctuations such as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), postpartum depression, perimenopausal depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Different types of depression

Major depression

Major depression is mainly characterized by having an inability to enjoy life and experience natural pleasure. Symptoms may be current or reoccur with regularity. There may also be a certain time frame for the amount of time you experience major depression (eg. 3-6 month periods).

Atypical Depression

Atypical depression is another subtype of major depression. Featuring temporary positive mood lifts in response to stimuli. An example of this would be after hearing something good from your friends or family. The positive feeling seldom sticks around and the individual goes back to feeling depressed after a short time.

Dysthymia (classic mild depression)

Dysthmia is a more mild form of depression. This type of depression is moderate and alternates between a mild feeling of depression and normal mood levels. Classical symptoms of dysthymia are not nearly as strong as symptoms of major depression - but tend to last longer periods (2+ years).
Dysthymia sufferes have problems 'living life to the max' and tend to forget positive events that occur in life easily. If you have dysthymia you may have always just felt depressed (and this would be 'normal' to you) it's a relatively easy form of depression to treat.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Stormy and rainy days can cause seasonal affective disorder. This is due to people getting easily depressed in seasons like autumn and winter. Where there are many frequent overcast days and natural sun light is quite scarce. This depression is called seasonal affective disorder or otherwise known as SAD. Researchers believe that this type of depression is due to the functioning of the pineal gland. The pineal gland is photosensitive (is affected by light) and because the pineal gland helps convert melatonin to serotonin, with the use of light. SAD can effectively be treated with light therapy (using artificial lights that mimics the sun to boost your mood)