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Signs and Symptoms of Depression

It’s important to remember symptoms of depression can be part of life’s normal lows. When signs and symptoms are overwhelming and disabling, that’s when it is time to seek help.

Identifying with several of the following symptoms, and if they reoccur almost every day for a period of two weeks could be a sign of suffering from depression:

  • Can’t sleep or sleep too much
  • Can’t concentrate or find previously easy tasks now difficult
  • Feel hopeless and helpless
  • Loss of energy
  • Can’t control negative thoughts, no matter how much one tries
  • Loss of appetite or can’t stop eating
  • Much more irritable and short-tempered than usual
  • Loss of interest in daily activities
  • Unexplained aches and/or pains
  • Thoughts that life is not worth living (Seek help immediately if this is the case)
  • Indecision and lack of concentration
  • Loss of initiative with fatigue
  • Exhaustion

Answering YES to any of the above symptoms is a sign. Please contact Counseling Services at (760) 725-9051.

Depression Causes and Risk Factors

Depression is not just the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain and not simply cured with medication. The following risk factors enhance being more vulnerable to depression:

  • Loneliness
  • Lack of social support
  • Recent stressful life experiences
  • Family history of depression
  • Marital or relationship problems
  • Financial strain
  • Early childhood trauma or abuse
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Unemployment or underemployment
  • Health problems or chronic pain

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes are not always easy to make, but they can have a big impact on depression. Lifestyle changes that can be very effective include the following:

  • Cultivating supportive relationships
  • Getting regular exercise and sleep
  • Eating healthy to naturally boost mood
  • Managing stress
  • Practicing relaxation techniques
  • Challenging negative thought patterns
  • Set realistic goals and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility
  • Participate in activities that may make you feel better
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately
  • Postpone important decisions
  • Do not expect to snap out of a depression

Ask for Help and Support

If the thought of tackling depression seems overwhelming, don’t panic. Feeling helpless and hopeless is a symptom of depression—not the reality of the situation.

Depression doesn’t mean weakness or not being able to change. The key to depression recovery is to start small and ask for help. Having a strong support system in place speeds recovery. Isolation fuels depression, reach out to others even when feeling like being alone.

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