Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression are often so extensive that it can be difficult to understand exactly what it is. Many of these anxiety symptoms may be characteristic of other conditions, making it even more difficult to ascertain if one is suffering from depression. Many physical symptoms of depression originate in mental patterns. These symptoms can also depend on whether it is a man or a woman experiencing them.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders breaks symptoms into two groups, physical and psychological. If at least one of the first two psychological symptoms is present for two weeks, along with at least four of the following eight symptoms, clinical depression is diagnosed. The major depression symptoms include:
Psychological Symptoms Of Depression:
Loss of interest in activities, including sex
Unexplained feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or hopelessness
Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
Physical Symptoms Of Depression:
Change in sleep patterns
Change in appetite or weight
Problems concentrating, remembering or thinking clearly
Lack of energy, fatigue
Most texts discuss the psychological symptoms of depression but very few discuss the importance of recognizing the physical symptoms. Apart from those mentioned above, many depressed people experience physical pain along with the emotional distress. These symptoms most frequently include headaches and stomachaches. Many people experience chronic nausea, diarrhea or constipation. Others report chest and joint pain. If the patient already suffered from back pain, it is likely to get worse with depression relapse. While it is important to get each of these symptoms checked out to rule out other illnesses, depression may be the cause.
Depression in women may be different than depression in men. Women are more likely to experience feelings of guilt, an increased appetite, bouts of crying and eating disorders. Women are more likely to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. Depression in men generally manifests itself as anxiety, loss of interest in activities and substance abuse. It is important to take these differences into consideration when determining if you have depression.
Depression symptoms often resemble those of other conditions. For example, constant and overwhelming fear and worry, bouts of panic, heart palpitations and cold, sweaty palms characterize anxiety disorder, which often accompanies depression. Bipolar disorder consists of manic highs and depressive lows. A person may move from moments of extreme emotional highs, recklessness, impulsiveness, and restlessness to moments of severe depression. Because bipolar, anxiety and depression symptoms are so similar, it is wise to be examined and diagnosed before beginning a prescription medication.
While determining if you have depression may be more complex than originally imagined, it is important to look for support if you are feeling sad. If moodiness, sadness or anxiety is affecting your day-to-day life, it is important to find out how you can feel better by analyzing correct symptoms of depression.