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Signs of Depression

Neha Joshi
Read on to know more about the signs of depression in women, men, and children. While some symptoms indicate the initial stages of depressive behavior, some point toward a more critical condition.
We often read a lot about what is depression and what causes it, but we fail to study the symptoms of depression in detail. Handling depression is not easy and it can hit a person anytime, due to reasons ranging from peer pressure to an unsatisfied romantic life.
Mild depression is very common today and is experienced by a lot of people. Here is a list of depression signs and symptoms that you can go through. Also listed are few symptoms and signs of postpartum depression that might help.

In Men

Men seldom show the usual, common signs and symptoms of depression like crying. They fall prey to the cultural image they have and keep their feelings and problems wrapped under a blanket. Men suffering from depression do this more than what normal men would usually do. Due to suppression of feelings, they become more aggressive and irritated.
  • Gradually reducing self-esteem
  • Suicidal behavioral patterns
  • Stress
  • No interest in otherwise enjoyable activities
  • Always seem tired
  • Fluctuations in appetite
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Indifference to emotions (apathy)
  • Problems related to sex (reduced sex drive)
  • Frequent show of hatred (hostile)
  • Aggressive words and actions
  • Frequent irritation
Along with these symptoms, you may also notice physical changes, which you can term as physical signs of depression. These include ulcers, increased blood pressure and cholesterol, gain or loss of lot of weight, and ignorance to physical appearance.
Depression can also give rise to other habits such as addiction to smoking, alcohol, and drugs. Men also tend to take up activities that can provide them with an adrenaline rush so that they think they can take on risks easily. This may also result in a complete nervous breakdown.

In Women

Depression can usually be seen earlier in women than men because women show or share their feelings more openly than men do. Women have major mood swings when they are depressed, since in women, depression can be caused due to biological factors like pregnancy as well. Yes, hormonal changes lead to depression at times. These signs, however, differ from person to person.
  • Excess sadness and anxiety
  • Sleep a lot or not sleeping at all
  • Extreme emotions
  • Occasional depressed mood swings
  • Loss of appetite or sudden increase in appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lethargy and feelings of fatigue
  • Feeling worthless and hopeless about oneself
  • Developing a suicidal tendency
  • Frequent pangs of guilt
  • No interest in otherwise enjoyable activities
For women, insomnia and depression always go hand in hand. Physical changes due to depression are usually either sudden gain of weight or sudden reduction. Again, depression can lead to addictions and other habits of compulsive behavior.

In Children

Depression in children is very dangerous because most of the time, children themselves don't know what happens to them. They usually have no idea what depression is and to what stages it can go. Parents should be very careful and should maintain a healthy environment at home. Children should always be comfortable in talking things out with their parents.
  • Irritable
  • Continuously sad about everything
  • Problems with clear thought
  • Anxiety symptoms
  • Pessimistic approach to everything
  • Feelings of immense guilt
  • Withdrawal from usually interesting activities
  • No interest or pleasure in anything
  • Sudden snapping or show of sudden anger
  • Being continuously helpless
  • Adrenal fatigue
If your child is crying easily over things or is more withdrawn than he usually is, you need to talk to him/her. Peer pressure and other factors at home or in school may sometimes lead to depression.
The kid may suddenly want to spend more time at home, and can also have panic attacks. There may also be a noticeable change in his usual eating habits. If you think it's on a serious level, talk to a consultant and take depression counseling before taking any steps on your own.

Signs of Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression signs or symptoms can be confused with baby blues or general mood swings. However, they're of a more serious nature. They interfere in you building a healthy relationship with your baby and also in your activities as a mother. Here are some warning signs and symptoms of depression that you can go through to see whether the depression is on a lower or higher level.
  • Loss of sleep (Insomnia)
  • Excess fatigue
  • Irritation due to unimportant things
  • Dangerous thoughts of self harm or harm to your baby
  • No joy with the birth
  • No interest in sex
  • Extreme mood swings
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Bonding problems with the child
  • Appetite loss
  • Feeling guilty and shameful
If postpartum depression is not treated or taken care of, it may last for approximately a year or so. In this case, the initial months of motherhood suffer the normalcy they need and the baby suffers on the other end too.
These depression signs, if ignored, turn more severe. Check for these warning signs of depression and if you think you are suffering from any of these, get a depression test done as soon as possible.