How to detect depression?

We all go through bad days and this is normal. However, for some people, these types of days are constant and can cause more damage than others.

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Many will believe that depression is the same as being sad but it is not like that. The symptoms of depression are very different from what we can experience when we feel sad.

It is important to understand that depression, unlike sadness, requires medical treatment, ignoring it can lead to tragic outcomes.

At the end of the year, the incidence of this condition usually increases, so you have to be very attentive and know how to detect the signs that may occur. In most cases, the person does not receive any type of treatment because they may not know that this situation exists. Learn here what are the symptoms that may occur:

• Anger and irritability

Often, when depressed, people report feeling agitated, restless or even violent, explains psychiatrist Robert London, M.D. Anger can also perpetuate depression. According to one Advances in Psychiatric Treatment editorial, when anger is left unaddressed, it can lead to passive-aggressive behavior. This behavior can be self-destructive and contribute to feelings of depression. London recommends that anyone experiencing aggression or hostility, or even an unusually short temper, discuss conflicts with others to work toward a possible resolution. Talking with a counselor or therapist can also prove helpful in sorting through feelings of anger or resentment and coming up with constructive ways of dealing with them.

• Self - criticism

We all have an internal critic, who usually judges every action we take. People with depression often pay close attention to this internal critic, which can cause their self-destructive feelings to intensify. Excessive self-criticism can be a clear symptom of depression. In one study, it was determined that people who tend to criticize themselves more often develop depression years later. It is important to know how to combat self-criticism with positive thoughts about us.

• Feeling of hopelessness

One of the worst symptoms of depression is a feeling of hopelessness. Feelings of hopelessness can discourage people from seeking treatment for their depression. Those suffering from extreme hopelessness may not believe they will or can ever feel better, which explains why some attempt suicide. What’s more, some experts believe hopelessness can contribute to the development of depression, according to clinical psychologist Nick Forand, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Ohio State University. For many people with depression, feelings of hopelessness are cultivated over time through a history of failures.These failures may be either real or imagined, and self-criticism can play a large role in the latter.

• Loss of interest

Losing interest in three-hour meetings is one thing, but with depression, people can lose interest in things they typically enjoy, such as movies, sports and time spent with friends. This phenomenon is called anhedonia. Unfortunately, a loss of interest can exacerbate feelings of isolation, leading to further depression, Gelbart says. This loss of interest may be due to changes in the brain’s levels of reward-regulating hormones and neurotransmitters, according to London. It’s a self-destructive cycle that can be difficult for people suffering with depression to break.

• Weight changes

When depressed, many people lose interest in eating because they no longer enjoy food. On the other hand, they may emotionally eat in a conscious or unconscious attempt to improve their mood. In fact, according to a 2003 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating foods rich in carbohydrates can temporarily promote the synthesis of the feel-good chemical serotonin in the brain. Depression-induced inactivity can also contribute to weight gain. If a person experiences a change in body weight of more than five percent in a month, medical attention is necessary, according to specialists.

• Sleep problems

According to one 2008 review published in the Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, about three-quarters of the people with depression suffer from insomnia. Constant fears, anxiety and ruminating will lead to difficulties with staying or falling asleep. Many people compensate for poor sleep by hitting the snooze button, taking naps or guzzling coffee, which can make falling asleep at night even more difficult. And, like many symptoms of depression, poor sleep only makes depression worse. Meanwhile, according to the same study, about 40 percent of depressed young adults (most commonly young women) sleep excessively when depressed. Typically, depressed individuals who sleep away their days are using sleep as a means of escaping from their problems.

• Constant fatigue

Depression can seriously take it out of you. Depressed peoples’ bodies act as though they are under constant stress, which can lead to inflammation, which in turn can contribute to feelings of fatigue. Even if they don’t realize they are depressed, most people suffering from depression will complain of feeling tired, sluggish and physically drained, according to London. These same people often experience sleep disturbances, which can exacerbate feelings of fatigue and grogginess. In some cases, this fatigue can manifest itself through slurred speech, poor reaction times and slowed-down walking, gestures and other movements.

• Unexplained aches

Often, when depressed individuals do seek medical attention, their complaint isn’t depression at all. It’s aches and pains, such as stomach troubles and joint and back pain. She explains that the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine influence not only mood, but also biological and neurological processes that can result in pain. What’s more, depression can affect how pain is perceived in the brain. Pain signals from the body that are normally blunted or diverted can instead be amplifie. People who are depressed also tend to have a lot of negative self-focused attention, so they might be more likely to notice pain sensations and concentrate on them, which can make the perception of pain worse.