I don’t understand my depression.
Often I can’t identify when I’m depressed or not. Sometimes I fall into the black hole without a moment’s notice, other times it drags on for months, subtly, until I wind up at the bottom, not even interested in climbing back out.
Is my lack of energy caused by my depression? Is my weight gain, my lack of a desire to exercise, my overeating – are these caused by my depression, or am I just simply fat, lazy, and weak? I call myself these things because that’s what I feel inside. But maybe that is the depression talking?
Alright, I’m done whining. Here’s a list to help me sort it all out. Maybe it can help you, too:
Signs and symptoms of depression include:
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- 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.
- 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.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
(P.s. I hate these lists.)