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Symptoms of depression include:

  • insomnia or hyposomnia
  • lack of concentration or tasks are more difficult now
  • feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
  • uncontrollable negative thoughts
  • loss of appetite or increase in appetite
  • irritability
  • thoughts of suicide [seek help immediately if you have these thoughts]
  • things that once were fun no longer seem fun or interesting
  • loss of energy and feeling fatigued
  • self-loathing
  • unexplained aches or pains

This is a very serious disorder. It affects many people throughout the world, if you are feeling this way remember you are not alone. Seek help for your feelings because sometimes there are problems that everyone needs help solving.

Some risk factors for depression include:

  • Loneliness
  • A family history of depression
  • Early childhood abuse
  • Trauma in one's life
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Recent stressful experiences

Depression And Suicide

Warning signs of depression:

  • Talking about killing or harming one’s self
  • Showing strong feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
  • An unusual preoccupation with death or dying
  • Giving away possessions
  • Statements like "Everyone would be better off without me"
  • A sudden change in emotion from being depressed to being happy and calm.

If you or a friend or family member are feeling suicidal or are considering suicide as the only way out, get help immediately. Call:  1-800-273-TALK

Getting Help and Helping Yourself

1. Get treatment. Go to a therapist and tell them how you're feeling. They'll continue doing therapy with you and may recommend a psychiatrist who can give you medication.

2. Get active in your treatment. Learn everything you can about depression; become an expert in the symptoms of depression.

3. Take your medication as instructed. Do not skip medicine and if you feel that the side effects are too much, or there is some other reason you do not want to take your medicine, tell your doctor! If you are not on medications, then skip this step. 

4. Keep track of your moods. Keep a journal and rate your emotions 1-10 for each day. Then keep track of whether you took your medicine or not, and your thoughts about suicide or self-injury for the day if this applies.

5. Stick to a daily routine. Make sure you get adequate sleep every night with a consistent bedtime. Eat three balanced meals a day and exercise regularly.

6. Reach out for support and build relationships. Start with your friends and family, they need to know what you're going through in order to help you. Make sure not to isolate yourself, this can only make things worse.

7. Avoid alcohol and drugs. Alcohol is a depressant and slows your body down, this can cause your symptoms of depression to worsen.