Clinical depression is exceedingly difficult to diagnose because it manifests itself differently within each patient. Depression signs and symptoms can vary widely, however, when they last beyond brief periods these indicators should be scrutinized with an eye towards whether they warrant further investigation. Being upset because of a break-up with your partner or losing a job is perfectly normal — not all depression signs and symptoms are a concern when exhibited within a justifying context and brief in duration. However, experiencing these otherwise normal negative emotions for extended periods of time should give pause for concern, and — in some scenarios — they can constitute possible depression signs and symptoms.
Some of the most salient depression signs and symptoms can be seen within your sleep habits. Although occasional bouts of insomnia are completely normal, chronic insomnia can be one of the symptoms of clinical depression. Conversely, oversleeping can also be supportive of a depression diagnosis. Clinical depression can interfere with our normal thought processes and result in losing concentration and the inability to make decisions. It is obviously difficult to discern whether these behavioral nuances are just personal eccentricities, or whether they constitute applicable depression signs and symptoms. A depression screening conducted by a qualified professional is able to differentiate between harmless vagaries of human emotions versus pathologies warranting a clinical depression diagnosis.
Feelings that nothing matters anymore — often characterized by helplessness, hopelessness and apathy — are telltale depression signs and symptoms. Clinical depression can be so overwhelming that those who suffer from it feel there is no escape — or even worse that the only escape is through death. Fixation with, or constant discussion about, death is a very concerning depression sign which justifies immediate mental health intervention. This apathy can extend to former interests including hobbies, studies, work — or even sex. A sudden and extended loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed are among the most common depression signs and symptoms.
A substantial change in appetite is also a sign of clinical depression. This can apply in either direction — both overeating as well as sudden weight loss. Having unexplained constant minor aches and pains can be quite normal, but it also can be indicative of depression in some circumstances. These depression signs and symptoms can be quite difficult to discern in the proper context, and only a professional mental health practitioner can make a definitive depression diagnosis. However, it is up to you to remain cognizant of what the initial depression signs and symptoms are in order to know when it is time to seek help.