Depression: Recognizing the Symptoms

When I was 17, I discovered the book, Why do I feel this way? What every woman needs to know about depression by Brenda Poinsett. For no reason I can imagine, I had lost interest in life. Nothing seemed to bother me, I just wanted to crawl into a hole and sleep for the next thousand years! I did not know what was wrong with me, I did not even realise it had a name. While reading the book I went through the list of the classic symptoms of depression and was astounded. I was a classic fit for at least 80%! What did a 17 year old have to be depressed about one might wonder? Oh well, that’s another thing altogether. What I do know is that reading Brenda Poinsett’s book went a long way and helped me to make sense of my life at that time.

There are several women out there who are depressed and do not even realise that they are depressed. Knowledge is power and if you are aware of a problem, you can at least begin the search for your solution. That is why I wanted to share the classic symptoms of depression as stated in the book. Here they are below:why-do-i-feel-the-way-i-do

  1. Feeling sad
  2. Loss of interest in life
  3. Disturbed sleeping patterns
  4. Abnormalities in appetite
  5. Change of sexual desire
  6. Feeling tired all the time
  7. Trouble concentrating, thinking, remembering or deciding
  8. Feelings of agitation or retardation
  9. Feelings of irritability and resentment
  10. Feelings of discouragement and pessimism
  11. Feeling worthless or guilty
  12. Feelings of inadequacy
  13. Brooding about the past
  14. Crying more than usual
  15. Feeling extremely needy
  16. Suffering from physical complaints with no medical explanation
  17. Increased use of alcohol
  18. Feelings of hopelessness
  19. Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
  20. Delusions or hallucinations

Symptoms vary from person to person so you may not be experiencing all of the above; but if you find that quite a number of these smptoms apply to you, maybe, just maybe you may be depressed. I was vastly relieved to know WHAT was wrong with me. I did not have the luxury of seeking help of course because then, things like that were scoffed at in Nigeria. If you claimed to be suffering from depression, you would be told it was because you had more than enough to eat; if you had to go hungry, you would not have the strenght to be depressed. That was the attitude. But because I knew, I was able to live with myself and in time, I got better. I still experience the symptoms every now and then, but now I can handle it.

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