Depression can be situational, seasonal, and/or chronic. It is your body's way of telling you that something is not right. As with your car's "check engine" light, it is a signal to pay attention, do not ignore and get it checked out. Feeling sad on occasion is normal and typical for most people, however, if the listed symptoms of depression continue for more than 2 weeks, this may be an indication that these normal emotions have developed into major depression, which can be long lasting and can impact not only your life, but the lives of your loved ones. Depression has a ripple effect and can affect the spouse, children, parents, siblings, friends, and coworkers of the person struggling with depression.
Top 10 Symptoms of Depression
1. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there's nothing you can do to improve your situation.
2. Loss of interest in daily activities. You don't care anymore about former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You've lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
3. Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
4. Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.
5. Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
6. Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
7. Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
8. Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
9. Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
10. Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Every symptom of anxiety can be explained away or put on the back burner as nothing to worry about. But when anxiety impacts your daily life in negative ways (avoidant behavior, angry outbursts, lack of joy, depression) you should seek help. Anxiety is treatable and the right therapist can help you find the right tools to manage and relieve anxiety.