Signs of depression

Symptoms used to diagnose depression are the same regardless of gender, although complaints vary from person to person.

Depression can manifest differently in different people, causing sadness and a loss of interest in once pleasurable activities. Symptoms used to diagnose depression are the same regardless of gender, although complaints vary from person to person.

Fatigue — Depressed people undergo a series of physical and emotional changes, including fatigue and psychomotor retardation, which is a slowing down of physical movements, speech and thought processes.

Sleep problems — Sleeping too much or too little, insomnia, waking up very early or excessive sleeping are common depression symptoms.

Stomachache or backache — Health problems, such as constipation or diarrhea, and headaches and back pain are common in the depressed.

Irritability — Instead of seeming down, men who are depressed often exhibit signs of irritability. Negative thoughts are a common aspect of depression.

Difficulty concentrating — Psychomotor retardation can slow down the ability to process information, thereby impairing concentration on work or other tasks.

Anger or hostility — Some men manifest depression by being hostile, angry or aggressive. Anger and hostility are different than irritability. Anger tends to be a stronger emotion.

Stress — Research has shown that prolonged stress can lead to changes in the body and brain, which in turn can lead to depression.

Anxiety — Research has shown a strong link between anxiety disorders and depression.

Substance abuse — Substance abuse frequently accompanies depression. Research has shown that alcoholics are almost twice as likely to suffer from major depression than people without a drinking problem.

Sexual dysfunction — Depression is a common reason for erectile dysfunction and loss of sexual desire, and it is one symptom that men are inclined not to report.

Indecision — Some people naturally have a hard time making decisions, so an inability to make choices is usually worrisome only if it is a new behavior. Depression can hamper one’s ability to decide.

Suicidal thoughts — Women are more likely to attempt suicide, but men are more than four times as likely to die if they do attempt suicide.

 

Source: Lisa Zamosky at www.health.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 1, Feb/Mar 2012.

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