Depression is an insidious condition and even though you may easily recognize the symptoms in other people, it is much harder to recognize depression in yourself. If the depression is not very severe, you may think you are just feeling a bit off, but you don’t know why. Sometimes, it may just get better by itself, but other times it does not, and may become worse.
If you have had the symptoms for some time, you may forget just how good life used to be and that is the big danger; accepting how you feel now as the norm. If you don’t enjoy life as much as you used to, it is a good idea to ask friends or loved ones if they have noticed any change in your behaviour. It could be that you have become more irritable or you refuse to go out with your friends like you used to.
If you are not as happy as you would like to be, think about why that might be. Naturally, if you have suffered an emotional or even physical trauma of some kind it is going to change you for a while until you come to terms with it. But if you can think of no reason why you should feel down, then it is time to look at what is happening to you.
Here are some of the milder symptoms that can help you to recognize depression in yourself, but they may also have other causes:
- Sleeping too much.
- Feeling tired all the time.
- Not enjoying activities that you used to enjoy.
- Not wanting to mix with friends.
- Being irritable about things that once did not bother you.
- Can’t be bothered with personal grooming such as hair-do and make-up.
- Lack of appetite.
- Pigging out on comfort foods such as chocolate.
- Gaining or losing weight.
If these feelings last for longer than a few weeks don’t hesitate to seek help. Consulting with a healthcare professional to find out the cause is the best way to get relief. Depression may be caused by something as simple as a Vitamin D deficiency – and if you spend lots of time at the computer or under fluorescent lights and little time out in the sun, you could well be deficient in this important vitamin.
Depression can also be caused by a sudden change in your life such as moving to a strange place, having a baby, losing a loved one or even going through menopause. It is important to recognize depression in yourself and get it seen to. A doctor will be able to check you out physically and help you get back on track.