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5 Signs You're Depressed

Updated on July 31, 2011

Believe it or not, millions of people are depressed and haven't a clue. We hear it on talk shows, see it in films, but when it happens to us personally, we are often quick to shrug it off and say it's just a momentary blue feeling and it will pass. But what if it doesn't? What if it actually goes on and on with no sign of letting up? What if it becomes a part of your daily life and actually starts to feel normal to you? What then? Would you seek help for something you've convinced yourself is actually just your normal state of mind and being? Perhaps you would, but many don't. So before it gets to that stage, take a look at these common symptoms of depression and do whatever you need to do to break out of the funk before it becomes a true state of being for you.

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1. Lack of interest in just about anything

We all go through phases where we don't feel like doing something. But when you start blowing your friends off every day, and avoiding things you used to really enjoy, this is a sign that you're depressed. When we are depressed we haven't got the energy to do anything that would normally light us up with excitement and this is a huge, huge warning sign of real depression. It's normal to go through a period like this after a breakup, or after experiencing another type of loss, but if your blue phase is ongoing and has lasted more than a few weeks, it might be time to seek out some help.

2. You're no longer taking care of yourself or your surroundings

Depressed people will often let themselves go in a number of ways. Many just haven't got the energy to shower, brush their teeth or even comb their hair. It's not because they want to be filthy; it's just that they can't take care of themselves anymore. Often the home will look the same. Trash and dishes will start to pile up and these things will only result in deepening the depression as guilt starts to set in for allowing everything to go messy.

3. Extreme weight loss or weight gain

Some people comfort eat when they are depressed. They know that they feel good when they eat, and they will try to feed their blues in hopes it will cure them somehow. But it won't. And as the weight piles on, they will sink deeper into their depression, feeling worthless because they can't control their food intake, and because the weight gain makes them feel less and less attractive. Conversely, others will lose their appetite completely and will lose a lot of weight very quickly. This may seem like an easy thing to fix, but if you've gone without food for a few days, you know how difficult it is to keep food down once you start eating again. That, and once others start to comment on your quick weight loss and start to inquire as to whether or not you've got an eating disorder, this can lead to more feelings of low self-worth.

4. Sleeping too much or insomnia

Some people will sleep huge amounts of time when depressed. This is natural in some situations, but if you're sleeping most of the day away for regular stretches of time, it's obviously going to affect your life unless you're independently wealthy and do not need to work. While it might be therapeutic initially, if it becomes a chronic pastime, you're probably severely depressed. The same can be said of insomnia -- when some people are depressed they simply cannot shut their mind off, making it almost impossible to sleep. And then as the body breaks down further it only leads to more depression.

5. A desire to harm oneself

Sometimes the pain is just so bad that some people think the only way to distract themselves from their pain to create another type of pain. Most people can't understand this because they've either never experienced emotional pain to such an overwhelming extent, or they have, and are simply more capable of processing those emotions than others. Either way, if you've got a desire to self-harm, you most definitely should seek help immediately.

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