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Depression's Danger Signals

How can you tell when the case of the "blues" has slipped into a real depression? The difference is crucial in deciding when professional help is advisable. It is especially important to be aware of this distinction during any major life event or change as it will most likely be a time of heightened emotional stress. This can be related to an increased susceptibility to depression.

Everyone experiences depression at one time or another, although to differing degrees.

Many of the symptoms of depression can be ordinary,

normal reactions to events, such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, retirement, or other major changes in one's life.
Working through depression can actually increase an individual's capacity to deal with stress in the future. Problems can arise when feelings are not dealt with or they are repressed for extended periods of time. It is when a person does not bounce back, when the ability to function in daily tasks is impaired for an extended period of time, that an increased level of depression is indicated and treatment recommended. Early diagnosis and treatment improves the probability of successful treatment.

The following symptoms are characteristic of depression. They are not all inclusive and they may differ from one individual to the next as depression effects everyone somewhat differently.

  • A general feeling of despair and hopelessness.
  • Difficulty in concentrating and memory which could interfere with the carrying out of everyday activities.
  • Difficulty reading, writing or conversing with others as thinking is slowed because the mind is occupied with inner anguish.
  • Feelings of loss of control over one's life.
  • A drop-off of physical activities, bowl disturbances, and a change in sleeping habits.
  • Withdrawal from others and lack of desire to do activities you once enjoyed to do.
  • Loss of self-esteem, questioning one's worth.
  • Thoughts of suicide.

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