Depression is associated with a variety of physical, emotional, behavioral and cognitive changes. In this post I’m listing the most common:
Indifference: the things that once used to matter no longer seem important anymore.
Irritability: most people associate depression with sadness. That’s true, but a far more common sign is irritability and impatience. Not only with other people but situations and events around you.
Lack of feelings: a sense of flatness and emptiness can sometimes be more common than sadness and tearfulness.
Lack of motivation: everything becomes an effort. Getting up to make a drink, to passing comments, to meeting old friends and close relatives.
Lack of enjoyment: senses become dulled. The world seems a grey and sometimes hostile place. Even food and drink don’t smell or taste the way they should. Things that were once pleasurable, including sex, diminish in their enjoyment.
Tiredness: even once you wake up you feel as though you should be going to bed. Fatigue and tiredness are common in depression. Sometimes even your actions and speech slows down and you look the way you feel.
Mornings are the Worst: many people with depression find that their symptoms are more pronounced in the morning and feel slightly better as the day progresses. This isn’t always the case; some people feel worse towards the end of the day.
Guilt: a sense of guilt is also common in depression. People frequently feel ashamed of making even the most trivial mistakes or look back in shame over past perceived indiscretions.
A Collapse of Self-Esteem: along with the issue of guilt comes a fall in self-esteem. If you lose faith in yourself and regard yourself as useless then confidence goes out the window - along with your memory about all the strengths and abilities you actually have
Increased Sensitivity: given what’s just been listed it isn’t surprising that you find yourself more exposed to perceived criticism and rejection.
Hopelessness: this is the sense that no matter what you say or do, you are unable to change things. When asked about the future, it seems a pretty bleak prospect.
Anxiety: is a friend of depression, albeit an unwelcome one. Worry may be focused on specifics or about everyone and everything.
Illness Symptoms: many people with depression feel physically ill. In fact it is often physical symptoms that make people visit their doctor. Headaches, stomach upsets, tremors, sweating, pain in the chest, racing pulse are some of the more common symptoms associate with anxiety and depression.
Withdrawal: many people with depression just want to curl up in a ball and hide under the bed clothes. Even the most outgoing of people find it preferable to turn down social invitations and find excuses to miss regular dates with friends or relatives.
Jerry Kennard, Ph.D., is a chartered psychologist and associate fellow of the British Psychological Society. Jerry’s clinical background is in mental health and, most recently, higher education. He is the author of various self-help books and is co-founder of positivityguides.net.