How to Recognize and Eliminate Depression Most of us feel sad, or depressed at some point in our lives. Often the loss of a pet, a minor illness or even the thought of getting older, leave us feeling sad, or blue. For most people, these feelings are temporary, and resolve themselves over a short time. However, when feelings of sadness, emptiness and hopelessness begin to take over our lives, invading each day, and interrupting our daily life, it is time to take action before depression becomes serious. Below are some of the symptoms that can signal a major depressive episode.
Sadness, Hopelessness and Guilt
Someone who is suffering from depression usually feels intense sadness, and cannot identify the cause. This sadness can lead to a feeling of hopelessness that things cannot get better, and guilt over neglecting family, work or life in general.
Loss of Interest In Formerly Enjoyable Activities
It is common for a depressed person to lose interest in activities that used to bring pleasure, such as work, family, friends and hobbies. There can also be a lack of interest in life itself, leading the person to neglect housework, relationships and personal hygiene.
Another common symptom of depression is sleep problems. Many depressed people find that insomnia keeps them awake night after night, and the loss of sleep only makes things worse. Others find that they cannot stay awake, sleeping for hours on end, and refusing to get out of bed. They often draw the shades, and turn off the lights, preferring the darkness.
Changes in appetite can accompany a depressive episode. Some sufferers experience an increase in appetite, often bingeing on unhealthy foods, and wallowing in guilt afterward. Others have no appetite at all, refusing to eat, or eating very little.
Left untreated, depression sometimes becomes so severe that a person begins to contemplate suicide. They may become obsessed with death and dying, or even create a suicide plan. Sometimes, a depressed person will talk of suicide in everyday conversation, as if to reach out for help. These red flags are serious, and should never be ignored, or considered idle talk. Many people have attempted suicide, either successfully, or unsuccessfully, because their cries for help either went unnoticed, or ignored. If you, or someone you know, begins to talk about suicide, get help for them as soon as possible. This can be a life-or-death situation.
Depression can be a debilitating disorder, disrupting a person’s life, and can even become dangerous, or life-threatening. Fortunately, Depression offers a high rate of recovery when recognized, and treated, by a medical professional.
The first step in treating depression often involves medication, usually anti-depressants, and/or anti-anxiety medication. Medication can offer some fairly immediate relief until further treatment becomes successful.
Medication is usually combined with some type of therapy, counseling or even hospitalization, if the case is severe. It can also help to seek out a support group for people with depression.
It is clear that depression is a major illness, but when treated properly, it can be overcome successfully, bringing life back to normal again. The key is in recognizing, and seeking treatment for, any symptoms that indicate a depressive episode.