Symptoms

Everyone is different and the symptoms of depression will vary between people. It is said, if someone suffers at least five of the following symptoms, then they could be suffering depression

Emotional

· Life has no enjoyment
· You are feeling pessimistic about everything
· You are so depressed, you feel numbness
· You can have an unreasonable fear of everything
· Feeling worthless, helpless and hopeless
· Low self-esteem, lacking in confidence
· Feeling paranoid and guilt ridden
· Feeling anxious and empty
· Fragile and exhausted
You may be very emotional and tearful
· There could be considerable agitation and angry outbursts

Behavioural

Loss of interest in hobbies and avoiding social events
· Struggling to remain in employment
· Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
· Irritable
· Lack of motivation
· Putting things off
· Apathy
· Paranoia
· Forgetfulness and trouble focussing
· Self-Harming
· Difficulty speaking and expressing how you feel
· Lack of personal hygiene
· Loss of interest in sex
· Use more alcohol, tobacco and/or drugs

Physical

· Changes in sleep patterns – difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, or even sleeping too much
· Excessive energy, restlessness, and unable to relax
· Change of appetite, weight loss or gain
· Chest and back pain
· Loss of energy and fatigue
· Tearfulness
· Constipation or diarrhoea
· Palpitations and heightened anxiety
· Headaches, tummy pains and general aches and pains all over
· Change in speech pattern – someone who is depressed, tends to speak slowly and quietly
· Changes to menstrual cycle and someone’s libido

Common thoughts

“I have difficulty organising and remembering things”

“I cannot concentrate and find it impossible to make decisions”

“I blame myself and feel guilty”

“My self-esteem and confidence is at an all-time low”

“My thoughts are persistently negative”

“The future looks bleak, worthless, and uninviting”

“I often think about suicide”

“I feel very paranoid and anxious, especially in busy places”

“I feel like I am living in a black hole”

Symptoms of anxiety

People suffering depression are often trying to cope with heightened anxiety. When we are anxious, our minds are normally full of negative repetitive thoughts. This can affect concentration, relaxation, and sleep. Eventually, the anxiety can manifest as physical symptoms, such as headaches, aches and pains, sweating and dizziness, even panic attacks.

Symptoms – Suicidal Thoughts

Depression can feel a very dark and lonely place. Problems don’t seem temporary, they are overwhelming and feel permanent. The sufferer can quickly become very tired of living and start thinking about suicide. The future is bleak; the present is a living hell. While most don’t really want to die, for many, suicide is a release from the mental and physical torture they endure. These thoughts can be difficult to control and are very frightening.

Warning signs if someone might be at risk of suicide

· Talking about killing or harming themselves
· Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped
· Unusual preoccupation of death and dying
· Acting recklessly
· Getting affairs in order
· Saying things like, “Everyone will be better off without me”

If you are feeling suicidal, please know that there are people around you who are willing to help, including at the Depression Forum, where you will find round the clock interaction and support with like minded people who are suffering similar problems.

Samaritans helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (UK)
1850 60 90 90 (ROI)