Depression is different for everyone. It can often vary according to a person’s age, gender, personality traits, and cultural background, and people will often experience a range of different symptoms of depression. What we do know, however, is that depression is generally classified as when a person has been feeling down and sad for more than two weeks, and is finding it difficult to go about their usual activities.
If you or someone you know has felt this way for more than two weeks, it is advised that they seek help from a doctor or mental health practitioner. However, whether you’re experiencing it yourself or you want to help someone you love, it can help to better understand the signs and symptoms of depression. This can help us properly understand how to treat the illness, and manage it within our lives.
There is no single definitive depression test; to be properly diagnosed you’ll need to speak to a qualified mental health professional. That said, there are signs we can look out for. So, what are the symptoms of depression?
Download our Functional Tools For Overcoming Depression guide here –
First of all, it helps to understand that we all feel depressed at some point in our lives, and some periods can work more as a trigger than others. According to Beyond Blue, about 45% of people in Australia will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime, and in any one year, around 1 million Australians will have depression.
That said, there is a significant difference between a “down mood” and serious clinical depression, and it’s important to understand the distinction. Sadness is a normal reaction to life’s struggles, loss, and heartache. But when this mood continues for more than two weeks at a time and a person is experiencing debilitating symptoms, we classify this as depression. Leaving depression untreated can worsen symptoms. It can cause ongoing stress and pain, and there is a very real risk that it may lead to suicide.
The physical signs and symptoms of depression are probably the easiest to recognize. They might include things like:
Depression can also surface through behavioural symptoms, such as:
The emotional symptoms of depression can be difficult to recognize in others as they may be hidden. They might appear more in an attitude, with thoughts or statements such as “I’m a failure,” “Nothing good happens to me,” or “Life’s not worth it anymore”.
The emotional symptoms could surface as:
It’s important to remember that everyone experiences depression differently. The symptoms of depression in women may even be different from those of men and other non-binary people. Think about when you experience grief. Some people bury themselves in work or socialising, whereas others will hideaway. Some people sleep a lot, whereas others don’t sleep at all. In the same way, people experience depression symptoms differently, according to their personality type, background, what they are feeling at the time, and what life stage they are at.
The deep despair of depression is so all-consuming that someone experiencing it may feel as if there is no other way to escape their problems other than suicide. Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. Warning signs can be:
If you or anyone you know has depression, it’s important not to delay treatment. If you suspect someone you know is depressed, watch carefully for any warning signs that a person may be suicidal. There is a range of treatment options available that can help.
Click here to read more about treatment, or download our Functional Tools For Overcoming Depression guide here –
Or, for a free, confidential discussion, click here to speak to one of our helpful staff.
Program Director & Psychologist
Emanuele has a compassionate approach to clients’ struggles, in order to promote awareness and initiate together with the transformative process. His treatment approaches range from Gestalt, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Dialectical and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, EMDR, ACT, Neuropsychotherapy, Sensorymotor Psychotherapy and Cape Cod Model for Couple Therapy.
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