Depression Warning Signs: What Are The Signs Of Clinical Depression?

If you know the depression warning signs you might be able to head off symptoms of severe depression.
I have said this on other pages of this site but I want to reinforce the idea that symptoms of severe depression are a disorder in the brain with emotional signs and symptoms. When patients and family members accept this concept, treatment is much easier. It is estimated that 25% of the population is depressed at any one given time. Now this does not necessarily mean severe depression.

All of us may feel a little down at times, perhaps "blue". This is somewhat normal with the stressors of daily live.

Situational depression is quite common and can occur with major life changes such as:

  • Death of a loved one
  • Losing a job
  • Losing your house
  • Divorce

Depression Warning Signs

If you feel like you might be having some signs of clinical depression, review the list below. If you have four or more symptoms then you need to speak to your provider or a counselor to sort things out.
  • Loss of Interest. You feel flat or "stuck in neutral". You no longer enjoy hobbies or social activities.
  • Isolation. You want to stay away from family and friends and don't see the need to interact socially.
  • Fatigue. You seem to tire easily and can't complete tasks.
  • Neglect. You neglect your responsibilites and don't care about your appearance (dirty hair and clothes).
  • Disrupted sleep. Your sleeping patterns have changed; you oversleep or awaken in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep.
  • Memory loss. You can't seem to remember things or events you were planning, especially short term memory.
  • Irritability. Little things in life make you jumpy. You have little patience with co-workers, friends and family.
  • Anxiety. You feel panicky and restless. You worry about things over and over.
  • Suicidal Thoughts. This can range from thinking about it to actually planning and contemplating suicide.
  • Indecisiveness. You have difficulty concentrating and even the smallest decisions are difficult.
  • Despair. You have feelings of hopelessness, that nothing will ever change.
  • Change in appetite. You are either eating too much or too little resulting in weight changes.
  • Digestive issues. You are having indigestion problems or even irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
  • Sexual dysfunction. You are having little interest in having sex.
  • Chronic headaches. You have headaches that are unrelieved by treatment.
  • A constant sense of guilt. You have exaggerated feelings of guilt and self blame.

You do not have to have all of the above symptoms to have depression. More than half of the symptoms, if occurring, can indicate a problem. And like many other medical conditions, this can be mild depression, moderate or severe. When severe, it is called Major Mood Disorder and may require hospitalization, medications and psychiatric treatment. Major Mood Disorder means that the depression interfers with your ability to function, dress properly, and go to work.

Keep in mind that depression and migraine can go hand in hand. In fact one can make the other worse.

  • Different Depressions?

Chances are you were unaware of the fact that there are different types of depression. Yes, I had mentioned that there is mild, moderate and severe, but there are others, all of which have depression warning signs.

Dysthymia is that condition of depression that is chronic. Medical experts in this field feel that dysthymia is related to changes in the brain regarding serotonin levels and other neurotransmitters such as endorphins and norepinephrine.

Seasonal Affective Disorder also known as seasonal depression. This occurs during winter months and lack of sunlight may be the culprit. Less sunlight may lead to less serotonin levels in the brain and more depression. Typically this begins in the fall is relieved in the spring. A rare form of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) starts in the spring and ends in the fall. Less is known about this condition. You might crave carbohydrates as these foods can boost serotonin in the brain. One of the reasons you feel so good after eating cakes and cookies.

Post Partum Depression affects so many women and for some reason many of them are still reluctant to discuss this with their doctors. Some women feel that they "should be better mothers" and therefore have to be somewhat perfect in taking care of their child and family.

Bipolar Disorder unfortunately has depressive episodes. As many people now know, BP can swing from euphoric highs to very depressive lows. During the depression phases it can become so severe that many patients have committed suicide at this time.

If you feel uncomfortable about depression warning signs you can visit another page here to read about Beck Depression Test and how to take a depression test online. It is more important that you realize the depression warning signs so that you can discuss it with your provider.

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