How to recognize depressionWhat are the signs of depression?? "I'm depressed" is easy to say, but depression is a serious and well-defined mental illness that requires professional help. Here's how you can recognize signs of depression.
Depression is often underestimated
Who doesn't know the feeling of being in a bad mood and not wanting to do anything?? Everyone has a bad day. This is completely normal. It's just part of it. All too often we then speak colloquially of being "depressed. Depression should not be underestimated. You are not alone with depression. In Germany, more than 5 million people suffer from depression every year. It is one of the most common mental illnesses.
It is not yet a depression if you are sad or your mood is depressed. Depression is a disease that goes beyond that. The symptoms of depression are clearly defined and recorded in the internationally recognized classification system ICD-10 of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Everyone experiences depression differently
Not every person with depression suffers from exactly the same complaints. Only the sufferers themselves can report how they experience the illness. However, many people share similar signs that indicate depression. The world seems grayer than usual and it may feel as if a kind of veil has settled over you. You don't have the energy for simple everyday activities and you no longer enjoy things that you used to enjoy. The lack of strength becomes the predominant feeling in life.
However, it is an illusion that all depressed people cry a lot. For some this is the case, while others can no longer cry at all. People often describe the behavior of sufferers as apathetic. For those affected, it often feels as if they are no longer capable of feeling anything at all. Therefore, attempts of encouragement by fellow human beings often remain without effect.
Why do I feel like this right now?
You may have already asked yourself this question. "I actually have no reason to be depressed". The impression that you are responsible for your own condition can lead to self-blame and feelings of guilt. Feeling small and thoughts such as "I can't do anything" and "I'm nothing" are familiar to many sufferers. Lack of understanding on the part of those around them, such as "It'll be okay" or "Just pull yourself together", can cause affected persons to withdraw even more.
During depression, you may find it harder than usual to concentrate, remember, or make decisions. And not only at work or at school. Sometimes it is already difficult to follow conversations or just sit still. Conversely, others find it difficult to move around.
How to get through the day?
Problems falling asleep or having a bad night's sleep. irregular sleep can make getting up in the morning a torture. In addition, there can be a great exhaustion during the day and the need for a deep, restful sleep. As a result of sleep disturbances, the mood can often be depressed, especially in the morning. In this context, one also speaks of the "morning low". Some people initially feel more physical discomfort. Looking for a physical cause for it. Those affected often report vague pains in the head or back area. Digestive problems, gastrointestinal complaints or heart problems can also occur.
In women, menstrual cramps in combination with depression are not uncommon. Many of those affected also lose weight unintentionally. Different challenges may arise in men. The libido – the desire for sexuality – suffers. In case of doubt, the individual variations can lead to a depression not being recognized as such for the time being.
Symptoms influence each other
Individual symptoms can influence each other. For example, some people with depression tend to brood. Thoughts that revolve around negative experiences disturb sleep patterns. Poor sleep in turn fuels negative thoughts or reduces memory performance. This in turn has an impact on self-confidence. Thus a vicious circle develops, which must be broken.
In some cases, the negative amptions are so strong that thoughts of death arise. At the latest when suicidal thoughts occur, one should seek medical or psychological help.
Depression affects the entire life
Few illnesses have a greater impact on a person's life than depression. The disease also often places an enormous burden on family members. You may even withdraw from good friends – out of exhaustion or shame. Since depression can affect emotions, thoughts, behavior and body, it affects the person as a whole. Overall well-being is affected.
A depressive episode can be treated
One speaks of a so-called depressive episode when a certain number of symptoms are continuously present over the period of at least two weeks. There are different degrees of severity. In professional circles, a distinction is made between mild, moderate and severe depressive episodes. A diagnosis is only made by a doctor or psychotherapist.
The term "episode" already indicates that a depression will also pass again. However, such a phase can last for a long time. With professional treatment, the period of the depressive episode can be significantly reduced. If depressive symptoms are recognized at an early stage, countermeasures can be taken in good time – with the aim of returning to a stable and balanced life as soon as possible. Our depression test can help to recognize symptoms and take the first step.