Depression Symptoms: What
are they really?
Depression symptoms :
What are they?
symptoms seem to vary from person-to-person. Sometimes, they may even be
relatively subtle such as indecisiveness, and a slightly low mood. More
frequently, depression symptoms may include uncontrollable sobbing, feelings of
despair, anger and worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness, insomnia and
variety of other psychological and physical manifestations. Some people have
depression symptoms that are less severe, allowing them to function. However,
their depression may still rob them of significant effectiveness in their life
and reduce their level of pleasure. Depression symptoms are numerous and may
have an exacerbating effect on one another, and usually have a tendency to span
five areas of functioning: emotional, motivational, behavioral, cognitive and
Depression Symptoms: Emotional
who are depressed usually describe themselves as sad and dejected. They
sometimes describe themselves as feeling "miserable", “empty”, and
“humiliated”. They usually report getting little pleasure from anything, and
frequently lose their sense of humor. Some also experience anger, anxiety, or
agitation. They also frequently have crying spells.
Depressed people typically lose the desire to pursue their usual activities.
Most report a lack of drive, initiative and spontaneity. They usually have to
force themselves to go to work, talk with friends, eat meals or have sex. Some
have described this as a “paralysis of will". They just want to stay by
themselves and be left alone.
people with depression symptoms become uninterested in life or wish to die;
others may wish they could kill themselves and some actually try. It has been
estimated that between 6% and 15% of people who suffer with severe depression
symptoms commit suicide.
Behavioral Depression Symptoms:
Depressed people are usually less active and much less productive. They usually
spend more time alone and frequently may stay in bed for long periods of time.
Many depressed people also move and even speak much more slowly, with a sense of
reluctance, and lack of energy.
Depression symptoms: Cognitive
who are depressed seem to have extremely negative views of themselves, the world
around them and of the future. They consider themselves inadequate,
undesirable, inferior and perhaps even evil. They also frequently blame
themselves for nearly every unfortunate experience in their lives, even though
they have nothing to do with them. They also rarely credit themselves with
pessimism is a very significant cognitive depression symptom. Sufferers are
usually convinced that nothing can ever improve in their life, and they
frequently feel very helpless to change any aspect of it. Because they have a
tendency to expect the worst, they are likely to procrastinate and be
underachievers. Most are susceptible to feelings of hopelessness and
helplessness, which also makes them especially vulnerable to suicidal thinking.
Depressed individuals frequently complain that their intellectual ability is
poor. They may feel confusion and an inability to remember things. They are
easily distracted and unable to solve even small problems. Laboratory studies
have found that people with depression symptoms perform much worse than
non-depressed subjects in memory tasks studying attention and reasoning skills.
However, this may also be reflective of the lack of motivation that individuals
experience when depressed.
Individuals who are depressed frequently complain
of such physical depression symptoms as
headaches, indigestion, constipation, dizzy spells and general pain. In fact,
many depressions have actually been misdiagnosed as medical problems at the very
beginning. Disturbances in appetite and sleep are very common. Most people
with depression symptoms eat less, sleep less and feel much more fatigue than
they did prior to their depressive episode. Some, however, eat and sleep
excessively. Even when they get plenty of rest and sleep, they may still feel
tired most of the time.
Information from Ronald J. Comer’s
Information and webpage by
MA Licensed Psychologist Ph.D.
(Health and Geriatric Psychologist
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