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Recognizing the Signs of Depression

When It's More than Just The Blues


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  • Isn't (constant, irrational, or unexplanable) anger one of the signs of depression?
  • My family says I seem a little down, but according to Spark, I'm depressed. Trust the Spark wisdom!
  • This article could have been written about me for the last month of Nov. and the month of Dec. this past year. I did however not want to harm myself for I hung onto the fact that God does not forgive you for taking your own life........and I had a friend that took that route but was not responsible for her own actions. I have that notion that you don't tell a Dr about how you are feeling for then they look at and treat you differently.........I know that is not the fact but when you are depressed that is how you think...........the problem is you don't (at least I didn't) think clearly. With the help of my friends, particularly here on SP, I came out of that horrible place...........and my heart goes out to those that "go there" and can't come back. The power of prayer is amazing......and friends are heaven sent !!
  • This article couldn't have arrived in my inbox at a better time. :) Thanks!
  • CNTALLY- What you describe is hopelessness (things will never get better or change for the better ) and this is mentioned in the article.

    JUST_SAY_NOW- I agree. As a rule, you have to rule out any organic general medical condition before you can get a diagnosis of depression.

    I think the article was a good overview and easy to understand. Thanks. I would suggest adding something on co-morbidity. Whether it started as anxiety or is accompanied by substance abuse, depression usually doesn't come alone.
  • I'm surprised by one of the symptoms they missed. For me and my conditional depression, the kicker is that I lose the ability to imagine changing my situation. I forget that things didn't always feel this way and that they will change again in the future.

    It feels like everything has always felt this bad and it will go on forever. Trying to imagine what change would look like is terrifying. There is no change...

    So by the time I realize I'm depressed and should do something about it, it's become less severe and medicine won't help anymore. Then I'm just stuck waiting out the rest of it until it goes away.
    Depression and other mental problems can really devaste a person's life. But, while I'm not minimizing them, one should look into their nutritional health as well--and maybe firstly. For almost one year, I was exhibiting all of the symptoms of depression (except suicide). I couldn't get out of bed except to the do minimum in life. I had no hope and no motivation. Fortuntely, I stumbled on a site about a simple vitamin deficiency (in my case B12) caused by taking Metformin (which my doctor never bothered to tell me). I also had numbness in my feet and thought I had turned the corner into diabetes. After getting a friend (nurse) to suggest a suitable dose of B12, I started upping my vitamins and made sure I was getting of the Bs. Within days, I was back to normal. Within a few weeks, my entire existance changed and I started back to school thereafter with a lot of motivation and energy. Don't discount simple nutritional needs or the lack of them. Due to one tiny vitamin, my entire life had been destroyed. This is just for people that may not go to the doctor for various reasons due to money, fear or simply a lack of getting out of bed each day.
    Thank you for a good article on depression. Just wanted to note that sometimes symptoms of other disorders that are easily treated (such as hypothyroidism) can cause depressive symptoms. It is essential to see a doctor and get screened for these to rule them out as a possible cause of depressive symptoms.
  • EARTHANGEL2B - Just wanted to say thanks for your post. I have been dealing with depression for going on two years now and it is a real struggle. I started therapy about a month ago and have been running and doing yoga to help. But some days I can't even bring myself to do that. For a long time I thought I was just a lazy, bad, person, who despite having the most wonderful husband and family was just ungrateful for all the things that I have, but I'm beginning to see that it has all been part of what depression has done to me.
    Thank You Earthangel2b (above). There is significant difference between situational (I'm sure this is me) and chronic situation like your.

    Mine is due to full time unemployment of almost 18 months, with several part time jobs in interim, each going by the wayside to business decline or mission being accomplished (like the Census). Generally, the part time jobs are at about minimum wage and would gross about 15,000 a year - they do not pay bills.

    Once my unemployment runs out I will be homeless. To top it all off, my perfect and beautiful 8 year old dog is losing the use of her legs over the Labor Day holiday weekend. I cannot afford a regular vet, much less the emergency vet!

    My car has 165,000 miles and needs maintenance. Remember when we were counseled to have 6-12 months income in reserve? Well, I was pretty conservative and pretty close to 6 months in reserves when last laid off from a professional position. The last of that was used rebuilding transmission this past spring.

    Family is not supportive and very critical, so they are not helpful at all. So I am feeling helpless and hopeless almost around the clock. I have had 3 part time jobs fall through in the past month or so (retail, business slow) but have one lined up that should begin in a week or two, doing food demos in stores.

    I am trying to be aware of feeling victimized and staying away from that downward-spiraling mindset, but it is not easy. My dog is a reminder of how far I have slid from what I consider a normal situation of taking care of myself. I am in my mid-50's and this is the first time since college I have been dependent on the government or anyone else.

    I am currently (early Sept.) going about the process of learning about community government and private assistance, as I had used some rent money to stave off the utility companies in late August. Talk about denigrating and humbling!

    I have stopped most of my volunteer activity due to wear on car and use of gas resources. But at my core I am a happy, creative and strongly faithful person who is just trying to figure out how I can be a productive member of society again and to make God smile.
  • I've been thinking for awhile that this could be me. Sometimes I get so down and just feel like I am on the verge of tears. I have been moody, and not feeling like exercising or doing anything. Very blah. This article gave me a lot to think about.
  • I have not been diagnosed with depression, but having read up on it and comparing it to my experiences, I'm guessing I do suffer from it.

    Why haven't I seen a doctor? Because in the midst of it, adding one more thing to my to do list just seems overwhelming ~~ it's all i can do to get up each day and take care of family and go to work, let alone trying to fit in a doctor appt (and then getting the dr to seriously listen to me). And once I'm past the current episode, well, then I'm feeling fine...

    I've actually sent a link to this article to my husband, hoping it will help him understand a little better what's going on when I'm going through a depressive episode. Now to see about calling my doctor...
  • I have suffered from severe episodes of clinical depression, diagnosed at age 10 through present (age 42).

    I have a great psychiatrist and family dr. and am balanced on medication to normalize my messed up chemistry, and it works a lot of the time, but occasionally I need rebalancing.

    I think a few important things many people may not realize are:

    1. Anyone, of any age can suffer from depression. Don't brush it off, thinking it will pass, it may not and it may even become life threatening! My first thoughts of suicide were at age 10 and my parents didn't know it!

    2. You can have a beautiful, wonderful marriage and great kids and a good job and everything going perfectly for you and STILL get depressed. It does not have to be caused by something. Depression that is caused by something outside of yourself is a little different, it is SITUATIONAL depression and is still something to be addressed for sure, BUT clinical depression is caused REGARDLESS of what is going on outside of you. It is your chemistry off balance. You may even feel GUILTY for feeling depressed thinking you have no right or reason to and are ashamed to let people know. Clinical depression CAN be helped even if you have suffered all your life and it is common to think, no way can someone help me, THIS IS JUST THE WAY I AM. (I think all of us have thought that before getting help)

    3. To those who mean well... telling your depressed loved one or friend to just cheer up or take a walk or get some sunshine or whatever it is that helps you when you wake up in a bad mood is only frustrating because nothing anyone says or does can FIX a clinical depressed episode it IS GOOD to have unconditional love and support and compassion just don't make the person feel guilty if your ways don't work for them. They are going to turn everything as something against themselves most likely. This is a SERIOUS illness and needs professional care

    4. Not everyone who is depressed is suicidal. Like the article said just feeling like it is too hard to get out of bed, or it is hard work to get up to use the bathroom, or not worth the trouble to get dressed or comb your hair. If making a phone call to get help seems like too much of a bother, if the things you normally look forward to doing and enjoy all have lost their interest, if you eat too much or too little, or sleep too much or too little, if you feel like a burden, if everything is overwhelming even otherwise simple things, if you feel isolative and don't feel like talking to anyone, even those you love, if you even though you aren't suicidal you may think how nice it would be to just sleep and not feel ANYTHING, or if you feel drawn to alchohol or drugs for an escape from these feelings (which only make it worse.) If this feeling comes and goes, and you never know how long it will stay, nothing in your life HAS to be going wrong, it just pops up and then eventually it wanes away and you hope it never comes back, but eventually it always does. It can be so bad that even when you are happy you live in fear and anxiety of knowing this happy feeling is only temporary because the depression always comes back.

    Medication and other treatments CAN help. Please ask for help. It is not anything to feel ashamed of and you are NOT a weaker person. as a matter of fact you are probably stronger than most from learning how to live through this over and over again so far, but this can be life threatening so please ask for help. And if one medication does not help try another because each person is so individual. This can also be hereditary so if someone you know and love suffered from this, it is more likely you or your children MIGHT too.
  • I see some symptoms that I never considered part of depression symptoms in your article. I have someone very close to me that i will be sharing this article with. Thanks for the insight.
  • i've also had depression off and on for years. i know most of it comes from an abusive childhood. when i got married at 18 and then had children, things were so much better for me. the world was such a beautiful thing. my husband is such a good guy and i have wonderful, loving sons. i was free to make my life and enjoy it too!

    when depression started creeping back in during my late 30's i was upset that i would need medication again. i saw it as a failure on my part - something wrong with my mind. my abuser had always scoffed at people that need therapy of any kind because "they are crazy". there was a stigma attached, a weakness for needing help for myself..

    i went back on meds. and continue on them still. when i was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at 46, a light went on in my brain. duh! MS causes depression and it was inevitable that i was a prime candidate to get it again because of the MS. i had to stop working because of cognitive problems. a new low when we lost my income and we still pinch our pennies 8 yrs. later. but i'm not one to waa-waa because there is always someone who has it worse than yourself. count my blessings and there are SO many.

    God has blessed me! the most positive thing that has happened to me in a while is i found spark people and all the wonderful people that are wholeheartedly supportive. it is like a newfound family that you've always missed - if that makes sense? there is nothing i can't do and i have fought through very tough issues. now my weight is in my gun sights and not depression, self-doubt or MS symptoms are going to keep me from becoming a NEW ME the NEW me who would be the old me - waaaayyy back when. (when i had a waisline!) HA!

    i want to again be the person who had it going on, had the world by the tail and lived her life fully. with the support of my friends, family and all the Spark People who cheer me on i can squash depression, fight MS and wear the figure that i know is hiding in here. KEEP SPARKING PEOPLE!! STAY STRONG, BE WELL AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST - YOU DESERVE IT!

    peace 2 every single one of you!! pj 8-}

    ~~ It's not the MS that defines you but how you stand up in the face of it. ~~

    A positive attitude will not solve all your problems but will annoy enough people to make it worth your while!

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