We all feel sad or miserable at some point in our lives, but normally these feelings are temporary and leave us as the days go by. Without leaving a greater mark on our path than that of a complicated moment, they can have a reason for being or appear without a reason that justifies their presence.
But sometimes the pain, the pain and their fellow men do not disappear. Sometimes the areas of a person’s life are so affected that they break what they were or aspired to be over time. Everyone can feel sad at times, but someone is said to be depressed when these feelings don’t go away quickly or get so bad that they interfere with their daily routine.
The World Health Organization defines depression as a frequent mental disorder , characterized by the presence of sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or lack of self-esteem, sleep or appetite disorders, feeling tired and lack of concentration. Data from the Spanish Society of Psychiatry revealed a few months ago that around 10 and 15% of the population will ever have a depressive condition throughout their lives.
But how to detect that you are suffering from depression? “To find out, there are various symptoms with different ways of knowing them,” explains José Ramón Pagés Lluyot, national coordinator of the National Assistance Foundation for Aid to the Sick of Depression (ANAED). They are symptoms that are not always the same, there is a depression for each person who suffers it. “All depressions are different just as all cancers are different. That is to say, they can be similar but never of the same size, importance and durability “, adds the expert.
Paying attention to how we feel in each moment and to the signals that our body sends us are essential steps to detect what is happening to us.
Signs of possible depression
There are five different classes of symptoms: affective, motivational, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological. Pages Lluyot describes them as follows:
- Affective symptoms. This first block can be manifested through feelings of guilt, sadness, shame, anger and / or anxiety.
- Motivational symptoms. The specialist locates in this section the loss of motivation, dependence on other people and the tendency to avoid problems. “The person does not want to see what happens and tends to think that it will end up being solved or that they will do something, but they do not make any decision,” he explains.
- Cognitive symptoms. They are multiple and are usually very striking. According to Pages Lluyot, among them are indecision, catastrophic perception of problems, excessive self-criticism and absolutist thinking. «There is a syndrome called the emperor or the empress and that is usually associated with this absolutist thought: I am always right and the others are not. The world is against me and I am the only one who can tell how things are », he details.
Memory , learning problems and difficulty concentrating and remembering even the most immediate are also part of this third point . “You are like a kind of cloud in which you are very confused,” says the specialist.
- Behavioral symptoms. Avoidance of problems, passivity before everything that happens and a notable deficiency in social relationships. “That tends to happen a lot, and usually the person with depression tends to become more isolated,” he explains. The individual usually thinks that they do not understand him, that he is weak and that, therefore, he should not show his weakness out of shame. In the end he feels that he has to hide and he tends to avoid people, problems, and the world.
- Physiological symptoms. They are usually extreme sleep disturbances: either the person does not sleep at all or sleeps absolutely all hours of the day so as not to be awake. They can also be changes in appetite: the individual is given by not eating or eating everything because of anxiety. Or there may be sexual alterations: either he does not want any sex or all he wants is to alleviate the problem he has trying to find satisfaction through this route.
How to deal with one or more symptoms
Many people with depression do not have all the symptoms, but most have about five or six of the above mentioned lines. In his presence, Pages Lluyot points out the need to seek professional help.
“If you feel bad, go to the specialist,” he recommends. “In principle, go to a psychologist to see if you have any type of relationship problem with others, insecurities, complexes … And if he sees that what is happening to you is something more serious, he will immediately recommend you visit a psychiatrist”.
Finally, compare this situation to hearing a noise coming from the car. When we perceive a strange sound coming from our vehicle, we automatically take it to a workshop because we don’t know what is going on. Well here, in his own words, it is not about making a self-diagnosis but saying: «hey, do you feel good emotionally? No, well then go to a specialist »