Warning Signs of a Depressive Episode

Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects millions of people across the world. Depression causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest; it affects the way a person thinks, feels, and handles their daily life such as eating, sleeping, and working. There are several different types of depression, and there is such a thing as a depressive episode.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. Current research suggests that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression can happen at any age but often begins in adulthood. Depression is now recognized as occurring in children and adolescents, although it sometimes presents with more prominent irritability than low mood. Many chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults begin as high levels of anxiety in children. Depression, especially in midlife or older adults, can co-occur with other serious medical illnesses, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease. These conditions are often worse when depression is present. Sometimes medications taken for these physical illnesses may cause side effects that contribute to depression. A doctor experienced in treating these complicated illnesses can help work out the best treatment strategy. (NIH)

Major depression is a cluster of symptoms that occur over a discrete period; this differs from a major depressive episode. A major depressive episode is a depression in the mood with an accompanying loss of pleasure or indifference to most activities for at least 2 weeks. Depression can creep up on you when you are at your happiest. It is a sneaky disorder, so being aware of some of the warning signs is very important.

Symptoms of a Depressive Episode

There are various symptoms of a depressive episode. Being aware of these signs and being proactive about your mental illness can help you take control and seek help if you feel a crisis coming on.

  • Fatigue – Feeling tired is one of the first signs of depression. You can either sleep too much or experience the exact opposite which is insomnia. This can lead to trouble concentrating, being forgetful, and trouble making decisions. All of this can directly affect your work and day-to-day life.
  • Appetite Change – often anxiety and depression coexist. Someone with high anxiety may be unable to eat, while someone with depression may not be able to stop eating. Depression can lead to weight gain or weight loss.
  • Low Motivation – depression takes a toll on one’s motivation. You lack the “get up and go” which can affect your work or school. Positivity and the drive to do anything is gone. Most of the time you find yourself wanting to lay around and sleep.
  • Irritability – depression also affects an individual’s nerves. Something that wouldn’t normally bother them all of the sudden makes them irritable. It causes those affected to be short-tempered.
  • Less Socializing – when someone is experiencing a depressive episode they usually want to be alone. There is nothing to say, and a lot of times they won’t attend any social gatherings at that time.
  • Loss of Interest in Favorite Activities – when someone is depressed, activities that normally bring them joy no longer have a positive effect on them. There isn’t much of anything that will bring happiness. The person feels so empty inside.

Depression is more than just being sad, it’s feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and guilt. If depression is not properly treated, the symptoms can get progressively worse and spiral out of control. Being proactive and staying on top of your disorder will help you to know when episodes are coming on so you can take control and get the proper treatment.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are not currently being treated, you must find a provider and get the proper treatment as soon as possible. Depression is not something to mess around with and with all of the help that is available in our society today, you don’t have to suffer through this.

Treatment for Clinical Depression

If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, our mental health experts are available to assist you around the clock. Voices of Mental Health has a standing passion for helping others achieve peace, serenity, and fulfillment. We will help you access top treatment centers with caring and supportive assistance. You don’t have to suffer any longer, call us today.

Medically Reviewed: September 25, 2019

Dr Ashley

Cayla Clark, BA

Medical Reviewer

Chief Editor

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

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Dr Ashley Murray obtained her MBBCh Cum Laude in 2016. She currently practices in the public domain in South Africa. She has an interest in medical writing and has a keen interest in evidence-based medicine.

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.