“My Timul was the brightest boy in his class. He came out with flying colours right through college. We wanted to send him abroad for further studies but did not have the money, so we sold our house for our son to have a bright future. But one day, when no one was at home, he just locked the room and hung himself. Later on, we found out that he was suffering from major depression. If only we knew that before, we could still have him by our side now.” Mohan Pandey, Railway Employee
Depression is no light matter. As per World Health Organisation, more than 300 million people across the world of different ages undergo this condition. Here are the signs that you should watch out for…
Why it is important to pay heed to warning signs
Before we go ahead with the signs, it is vital that you understand the dire need to pay heed to this condition. When depression goes untreated, it can lead to change in behavioural patterns, inability to handle life, self-harm and destructive behaviour. Worse, somebody can lose their life over it. Statistics have shown that more than 50 percent of people who have committed suicide have done so due to depression. This is an alarming rate that cannot be ignored.
Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms:
Some of the behavioural and psychological symptoms include:
Constantly feeling sad and excessive crying
You might know exactly why, but during this time there is a constant feeling of sadness that surrounds you. Sheila Das, Housewife admits, “When I was undergoing the blues, I would have these excessive bouts of crying, and I had no clue about the reason behind it. I remember rushing to the bathroom because I did not want anybody to see me sob.”
Loss of interest
You may experience an apathy towards things you were once passionate about such as hobbies, interest, pass times and job. You no longer know what it is to feel joy and might start neglecting your appearance.
Irritability and bad temper
It is not uncommon to be irritable and in a foul mood at this time. As per a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, 54% of those who had depression, were said to feel bitter, ill-tempered, argumentative or angry.
Inability to concentrate
You find it difficult to focus, make decisions or even remember things. Your work or studies seem to suffer because of this.
You are very severe on yourself and keep criticising your actions and behaviour. You keep having these pangs of guilt of something done in the past or the way you are acting in your present.
You experience a general discontentment in life as a whole. There does not seem to be anything to look forward to any more.
Because of all that your mind, heart and body are going through, it is very likely that you might suffer from extreme mood swings.
Depression has physical symptoms as well. Here are some of them:
Research has proved that around 75% of those who are undergoing this condition also have chronic pain. According to a Canadian study published ‘Pain’, those who were suffering from depression were four times more prone to have intense neck and lower back pain.
Changes in sleep patterns
There is a strong relation between sleep and depression. Due to your mental anguish, you find yourself keeping up at night and not getting enough nap time. You might even go to the other extreme and prefer escaping and shutting yourself off from the world with sleep.
Changes in appetite
You witness a change in your appetite, either you land up overeating to compensate for the sense of void or you land up losing interest in eating altogether.
Drastic fluctuation in weight
There is a noticeable change in your weight in a short span of time. You have either put on too much or lost too much.
As you are in a vulnerable and destructive state of mind right now, you can easily fall prey to substance abuse such as drugs and alcohol.
Depleted energy levels
You no longer have that spring in your step and find yourself constantly complaining about fatigue. The thought of doing anything tires you.
Symptoms specific to gender and age group:
Depending upon your age-group and gender, you might show specific symptoms:
Teens: Being irritated, angry and agitated most of the times. You may experience physical pains such as headaches and stomach aches.
Elderly people: Showing more physical symptoms such as extreme tiredness, aches and pains that they cannot explain. You may stop caring about your health and the way you look.
Women: Feeling extremely guilty and emotional. You might go overboard with eating and sleeping.
Men: Getting irritable, angry and aggressive. You may have problems with sleep, get tired and lose interest in things around you.
While undergoing the blues is a serious cause for concern, there is hope at the end of the tunnel. Research shows that around 80 percent to 90 percent of those with depression get better with treatment and are relieved from the symptoms. So, do not ignore these warning signs and seek help at the earliest. For any help, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or chat with experts now.