Only a member of the medical profession can properly diagnose your symptoms of depression and should be consulted if you, or a loved one is displaying signs of depressed behavior.
There are however, a few behaviors that you can look for that will help you recognize depression. There are two underlying symptoms that are predominant. The first is a loss of interest in daily activities to such a degree that you no longer receive pleasure in activities you used to enjoy. The second is having a depressed mood. You may have crying spells and you feel helpless and hopeless. In addition, for a health professional to make a correct diagnosis, most of the following signs and symptoms of depressed behavior must also be present for at least two weeks:
* Having sleep disturbances. Sleeping too much or too little can be a sign you’re depressed. Waking in the middle of the night or early and not being able to get back to sleep are typical.
* Your thinking or concentration may be impaired. You may have trouble concentrating or making decisions and have problems with your memory.
* Your weight changes. An increased or reduced appetite and unexplained weight gain or loss may indicate depressed behavior.
* Agitation. You may seem restless, agitated, irritable and easily annoyed by everyday common occurrences.
* Your body movements slow down or you feel fatigued. You feel weary and lack energy nearly every day. You feel as tired in the morning as you did when you went to bed the night before. You feel like you’re doing everything in slow motion or you may speak in a slow, monotonous tone.
* You have low self-esteem. You feel worthless and suffer from excessive guilt.
* Decreased interest in sex. If you were sexually active before developing depression, you may notice your level of interest in having sexual relations is dramatically decreased.
* Persistent thoughts of death. You have a recurring negative view of yourself, your situation and the future. You may have thoughts of death, dying, even of suicide.
Recognizing the symptoms of depressed behavior is the first step, but the proper diagnosis should be done by your family doctor. From there, working together you can design a plan that works best for you. The good news is that depression is treatable.
Faye B. Roberts is an independent researcher and author on depression and is assisting others in their quest to understand this serious illness. Discover a new way of thinking and coping with depression that will change the way you look, feel and live your life. Visit
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