You may be depressed if, for more than a months, you’ve felt sad, down or miserable most of the time, or have lost interest or pleasure in usual activities such as sex and have also experienced several of the signs and symptoms of depression of the categories below. It’s important to remember that we all experience some of these symptoms from time to time, and it may not necessarily mean you’re depressed.
Here are some of the most common warning signs and 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.