Mental and Emotional Signs of Depression

The following are common emotional symptoms and resultant mental states of those who are depressed:

Sadness: I feel awful!

Depression is most commonly characterized by a deep sadness. The “blues” seem to creep up slowly and bring with it a spirit of heaviness. Crying and brooding are common for those who are in a funk.

Despair: It’s hopeless!

Despair is the absence of hope. Despair sees no light at the end of the tunnel, no hope at the end of the day, and no answers for the endless round of questions that plague the mind of the depressed. Three times the Psalmists cried out, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God” (Psalm 42:6,11;43:5).

Irritability and low frustration tolerance: I have had it with you!

Depressed people have very little emotional reserve. Small things tick them off, and they are easily frustrated. They have a low tolerance level for the pressures of life.

Isolation and withdrawal: I’m going to my room!

People who suffer with depression pull away from others. They feel embarrassed to be with people when they feel so low. They don’t want to be a wet blanket in the group and drag the others down by their depression. Although some may think that isolation is a viable short-term solution, avoidance often adds to the downward spiral of depression.

Negative thought patterns: Nothing is working and I’m such a failure!

Depressed people generally have a negative view of themselves, their present circumstances and the future.

Thoughts of suicide: Everybody would be better off if I just died!

Sadness, isolation, loss of energy, strained relationships and physical problems contaminate one’s perspective of self and the future. Believing themselves to be helpless and hopeless, many begin to think of suicide as the only way out. It is the third leading cause for suicide for teenagers and ninth for adults.

Dr. Neil

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