I’d like to start this article by stating that depression is a mental disorder which effects life in every aspect and should not be mistaken with being depressed. Everybody might feel sad, depressed or hopeless once in a while but there are certain symptoms of depression that can’t be overlooked and if they persist for longer periods, you might need to seek help.
Now, let’s see what symptoms of depression are.
“I can’t enjoy anything.”
One of the main symptoms of depression is not having the pleasure in life as much as one used to. A person no more enjoys things that used to give pleasure. While a healthy person enjoys a sunrise, rain, a nice movie, a funny joke; a person with depression does not feel the same. He or she can’t feel the joy of life. Life seems empty and meaningless.
A friend of mine told me that he never looked at a flower in three years. Because there were no more pleasure in flowers, in birds or in people. Another friend of mine on the other hand stated: “My first car was a used Chevrolet Corsica, but even then I used to fly to the moon while driving it. A month ago I bought a brand new Mercedes and I felt nothing.”
Being unable to enjoy life, turns into “not being able to stand life” as the depression progresses. Life becomes something that gives pain. Every second of life turns into a source of agony. And in depression, time does not fly.
This type of depression, in later stages, might even end up with suicide if it is depression treatment is not received. As the mental suffering is so great, the patient no longer feels physical pain. Therefore, patients with severe depression may commit painful methods of suicide.
“I don’t feel like doing anything.”
Another one of main symptoms of depression is aversion. Aversion usually appears as procrastination. The interest in things normally done as a result of responsibility decreases. For instance, the patient does not want to go to work, even if he goes, he struggles. A student never feels easy to prepare for exams. He stares at the book for hours without reading.
Aversion is a main symptom of depression. The person doesn’t feel like doing anything at all. In severe depression, it might become impossible to leave the bed.
After a while, interest in pleasant things disappears. If a friend calls, you just make up an excuse and stay at home instead of doing anything. You don’t even feel the need to check the results of the football games that you used to watch every week. People who normally spent hours in front of mirror before leaving the house turns into a homebody. They say that they feel older.
In severe depression, aversion becomes excessive. The patient may not leave the bed for days. Even if one wakes up early, he or she prefers to stay in the bed and wants to stay like that forever. Doesn’t watch TV, doesn’t read, doesn’t talk and doesn’t eat if someone else doesn’t prepare the food. In more serious cases, patient may even feel impossible to go to the bathroom.
Unrest/Anxiety/Stress Without A Reason
Gratis unrest, anxiety, stress or excitement is a common symptom of depression. Patients feel overwhelmed, stressed or excited without a reason. Some patients may shudder when a phone rings, for example.
Everyone might feel stressed or excited in life. But in people with depression, this situation is severe and causeless. Most patients wake up feeling distressed. Morning unrest is a serious issue for people with depression. They notice that they are tense even in their sleep and wake up feeling completely stiff.
There are physical aspects of these symptoms. Symptoms like heart throb, trouble in swallowing, sudden change in blood pressure are common symptoms that are related to depression.
90% of patients in depression suffer from insomnia. This may happen in 3 different ways:
1- Having trouble in going to sleep after getting in the bed. Some patients may not go to sleep in an hour or so while others can’t sleep until morning.
2- Waking up briefly after falling asleep. Some depression patients wake up many times at nights as some of them can never go back to sleep after waking up once.
3- Waking up early. Some patients wake up very early even if they sleep late.
10% of patients feel increased sleepiness. But this is a type of sleep that does not make you feel rested. And almost every depression patient complains about waking up tired.
Loss of Appetite – Anorexia
90% of depression patients lose appetite. Weight loss is also seen in some patients. Person, as with anything, can’t enjoy food anymore. There are patients who try to live by vitamin pills.
10% of the patients on the other side, have increased appetite. But this is not a pleasant appetite. They usually say that they eat without enjoying, attacking every type of food without realizing. On another case, people tend to enjoy eating while not being able to enjoy anything else in life.
As many physical disorders, mental disorders may cause fatigue too. However, depression is one of the most common reasons of fatigue. In fatigue that is related to physical conditions, a person is willing to do something but the fatigue gets on the way. But, in depression, a person is both fatigued and unwilling.
In depression, patients feel tired without doing anything physical. Even in the morning, they wake up feeling tired.
Amnesia, Being Unable to Focus, Attention Deficit, Indecision
Amnesia might have different reasons like B12 vitamin deficiency or goiter. Most common reason for people over 60 is Alzheimer’s disease. For people under 60, depression is the first reason.
“I can’t think about anything, I don’t understand what people around me are talking about,” and such complaints are generally caused by depression. The patients also suffer from indecision. Feeling difficulties to decide on even less important subjects.
Amnesia sometimes becomes so severe that it becomes hard to tell if a person is in depression or have the Alzheimer’s disease. While that kind of amnesia is not common, when attention deficit and other problems are added, it can effect the patients’ life seriously.
Feeling Invaluable, Insufficient, Insecure
Every person feel sad or depressed as I’ve already mentioned. The difference in depression is that the patients feel invaluable. People tend to see themselves as worthless, ugly, insufficient and such. Even more, guilt and sin are added to this feelings. People feel guilty or sinful for what they’ve done in life. While the good things they’ve done disappear in their memories, they focus on their mistakes in life.
We often run into ideas like, “This world would be better off without me,” or “I am a bargain to my family.”
In other words, depression might be described as a self-hatred disorder. When self-hatred gets into a high level, patient may even commit suicide.
While every depression patient doesn’t think about suicide, they often think about death. Some of them don’t consider suicide but say “I wish I was dead,” or “Death would be so much better than living. It would end all my misery”.
A depression patient can’t enjoy walking around, playing games,watching movies, etc. And advises like “stay strong and beat depression” can only make things worse as the patient is already feeling insecure about himself or herself. If someone you love is in depression, remember that depression is a serious disorder and wrong advises may cause death.