Symptoms of Severe Depression:
How Do They Differ?
There are many types of depression and the symptoms of severe depression vary from that of the others. That is because when someone is severely depressed they exhibit more pronounced symptoms and they are more serious than someone with, say, milder forms of depressive disorders. Those that are experiencing severe depression symptoms are often times debilitated as their life slowly begins to spiral down in the black hole of oblivion and the individual feels there is no way out and that not one soul understands what they are going through. When, in fact, nothing could be farther from the truth!
Over 19 million Americans suffer with some type of depressive disorder every day and, of those, only 30% ever seek treatment. The good thing is that of the 30% of those that do get help, 80% will response positively and feel better in just a couple of weeks. The bad thing? The 70% that don’t receive treatment, suffer needlessly day in and day out as they slowly slip away, isolating themselves from their family, their friends, their lives.
Many individuals start with mild to moderate symptoms and over time the it can manifest into something more chronic and more severe. Ultimately, this leads to a severe depression that not only affects the individual but also those around them.
With most types of depressive illness the symptoms are similar and easy to recognize. In all cases, in order to classify as “true depression” the symptoms should be present for at least 2 weeks straight. In severe cases, the symptoms have resided for many more weeks, even months. The symptoms of severe depression should not go unrecognized or be ignored. They include the following:
Feelings of hopelessness or despair
Difficulty concentrating and/or making decisions
Aggressive behavior towards, verbally or physically, towards others
Change in appetite which can manifest as eating less or more than usual
Change in sleep habits which can manifest in sleeping less or more than usual
Suicidal ideation / fantasies
Verbal references to being gone – “If only I were dead…..”
Attempts at suicide
Aggressive towards others
Isolating self from others
Loss of interest in things they once enjoyed
Loss of interest in sex (if they had the interest before)
Talk of “when I’m gone”
Putting affairs in order / initiating or changing a will
These symptoms of severe depression are different than those with mildern forms. Most individuals with mild, or even clinical depression, don’t go so far as to contemplate death or plan for their death as they usually want to get past the depression so they can live a healthy, normal life. Conversely, those with severe cases that exhibit these kinds of warning signs, have lost hope and feel that there is no way out. They have given up.
If you recognize someone exhibiting severe depression symptoms, or even milder symptoms of a clinical depressive disorder, it is important to seek professional help so that the individual can get diagnosed early on and receive the treatment that they need and deserve so they can ultimately live a fully functioning, fulfilling life.
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