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Know the Signs of Depression and Improve Your Life
Typical signs of depression actually show a change in the way a person has come to think about himself.

"I just can't get myself to do any work around the house. My marriage is falling apart."

"My hair is thinning. I'm losing my looks. No one will care about me anymore."

These are typical thoughts of people who are depressed and show a change in thinking, feeling and acting.
Here are other signs of depression :

    Continual feelings of sadness, emptiness and helplessness that seem to have no cause

    Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities

    Decreased energy, fatigue

    Sleep and/or eating problems

    Difficulty concentrating and making decisions

    Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and helplessness

    Irritability, excessive crying

    Chronic physical aches and pains that do not go away

    Feelings of hopelessness

    Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

If a person shows several of the above signs of depression for an extended period (2 weeks or more) he should consult a physician.

Although the change may come on gradually, the depressed person is different from the way he was before the onset of his illness perhaps even the opposite of his usual self. There are many signs of depression confirming this change : the successful businessman who believes he is on the brink of bankruptcy, the devoted mother who wants to abandon her children, the gourmet who can't stand food, the playboy who becomes disgusted with sex. Instead of seeking pleasure, the depressed person avoids it. Instead of caring for himself, he neglects himself and his appearance. His instinct to survive may give way to a desire to end his life. His drive to succeed may be replaced by passivity and withdrawal.

The most obvious and typical signs of depression relate to a sad mood: gloomy, lonely, apathetic. The depressed person may find himself crying even when there seems to be nothing to cry about or may find it impossible to cry when a truly sad event occurs. He may have trouble sleeping or wake early in the morning, unable to return to sleep. On the other hand, feeling constantly tired, he may sleep more than usual. He may lose his appetite and lose weight, or eat more than he does normally and gain weight.

Signs of depression also relate to self-esteem. Typically, the depressed person sees himself in a very negative way. He may believe that he is helpless and alone in the world and often blames himself for trivial faults or shortcomings. He is pessimistic about himself, about the world, and about his future. He loses interest in what is going on around him and doesn't get satisfaction out of activities < he used to enjoy. Often, he has trouble making decisions or getting himself to carry out decisions he has made.

Some people don't show the usual signs of depression. They may complain instead of physical discomfort or suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction. When a person always seems tired or bored with what he is doing, he may actually be depressed. When bright children do poorly in school over a period of time, this too may point to depression. There is even evidence that the overly active child may be compensating for an underlying depression.