We all feel down from time to time. But when these feelings persist over a longer period of time, it could be a sign of depression.
The best way to identify if you have depression is to speak to a therapist or GP. However, for the time being, we wanted to use this article to outline some of the key symptoms to look out for when understanding feelings of low mood and the severity of these.
Let’s start by covering some of the symptoms of depression before we move on to identify the impact it may have on you.
With depression, it’s common to feel low in mood, have reduced energy and have low motivation to take part in activities. Your enjoyment, interest and concentration levels can diminish, and even very low-impact activity can bring on feelings of tiredness.
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Significantly altered appetite
- Low self-esteem
- Low self-confidence
- Thoughts of worthlessness
These are just some of the symptoms associated with depression – now how do we determine if a depressive episode is mild, moderate or severe?
Well, a mild depressive episode will typically involve two or three of the earlier symptoms. Though you will feel distressed, you’ll largely be ok to carry on with many of your everyday activities despite the low mood.
A moderate depressive episode is when four or more of the earlier symptoms are present and are causing disruption in your ability to carry on with life as normal.
A severe depressive episode is when several of the earlier symptoms are present and can feel distressing. Self-esteem is likely lost and there are also feelings of worthlessness and guilt.
It’s also not uncommon for this level of depression to cause suicidal thoughts or acts of self-harm.
We have been talking about specifically depressive episodes, but recurrent depression is when someone experiences repeated bouts of depression. This in itself can be categorised differently.