*The information discussed below has come from research and personal experience. In no way is the author a certified medical expert or psychiatrist.*
How do you genuinely know if you’re depressed? Is there a test? Should you see a doctor? What if all that they do is give me medicine? Are there differences between sadness and depression? These are some of the many questions that I, and many others, have asked and will continue to ask about depression.
Unfortunately, depression is difficult to pinpoint simply because everyone’s depression manifests itself in different ways. Many people cope with this mental illness based upon their varying personality traits. Because of this, doctors and psychiatrists all over the world are reverting to Roman Empire like tactics and tendencies. During the rise of the Roman Empire, many of their leading medically minded individuals claimed that depression could be healed by exercise and diet. Nowadays, many are calling for the same kind of treatment but adding a myriad of medication into the mix.
This spastic reaction is causing many individuals deeper issues to go unresolved and sometimes medicine only masks the problem.
“Medicine is a short-term solution to a long-term problem.”
With so many being misdiagnosed, or not even diagnosed at all, how does one know if they, or a loved, are suffering from depression? Here are five common symptoms that may indicate you, or someone you love, is suffering from depression.
- Isolation is typically a key indicator in someone dealing with depression, especially if the affected individual is normally outgoing. This, however, should not be a sole indication or center point for labeling someone as depressed. Understanding someone’s social behavior is pivotal in knowing whether their isolation is out of the ordinary.
- Exaggerated Emotions
- Depression often heightens an individuals emotional being. A telltale sign of this illness is an unusual displaying of erratic emotion. If you, or someone close to you, is typically even keeled but begins lashing out for no apparent reason, something is going on below the surface. Depression heightens one’s anxiety, ability to cope with otherwise easy situations, and makes one feel incredibly vulnerable.
- Feelings of hopelessness
- This is a great place to define sadness and depression. Sadness, as it relates, typically induces motivation to move on and do something about the situation. It is a healthy emotion of life and should be experienced from time to time. Depression, however, creates feelings of intense hopelessness. It also saps all motivation from your life and leaves you hanging dry. Understanding the difference between the two will be key in understanding your, or someone else’s, situation.
- Difficulties Sleeping
- Having a hard time falling asleep lately but usually you have no issue? Having trouble staying asleep all night long? Sleeping more than you usually do?This could certainly be an indicator that you are experiencing depression. It must be said though, that sleeplessness or over-sleeping could be indicators of another issue and may not be depression related at all. It is best to see a doctor for these kinds of issues even if you do not think you are depressed.
- Unusual Forgetfulness
- Depression has a funny way of messing with one’s mind. Experiencing a brain fog or being overly forgetful is a common complaint of those struggling with depression, according to Mayo Clinic and others. This can be incredibly frustrating for an individual and may only serve to push someone deeper into isolation and depression.
This list is certainly not exhaustive as there are many, many other symptoms that may indicate depression. If you, or someone you know and love, ever experience(s) suicidal ideation contact a doctor immediately. If you, or someone you know of, have plans to carry out a suicidal ideation contact your local authorities immediately. This is a sure sign that depression may be at work.
Depression should not be taken lightly, nor should diagnosing yourself, or someone else, be taken lightly either. Your best option in all situations is to contact your doctor and discuss your experiences, symptoms, and treatment options.