If you’re feeling emotions that seem to be beyond sadness or that you’re stuck in a world that seems like a dark hole of despair, you could be dealing with symptoms of severe depression. Severe depression can permeate your entire life and those around you. You may become unable to function in normal activities and severe depression could eventually affect your health.
Many people who are suffering from severe depression find themselves unwilling victims of today’s tumultuous events such as the downturned economy, job loss, house foreclosures and health care issues. It’s a domino effect that could also threaten relationships, work, school, diet and sleeping habits.
Symptoms of severe depression can worsen if not properly addressed. Some may experience signs of a condition called psychosis and suffer hallucinations or delusions. Thoughts of worthlessness, self-hatred, guilt and feelings that life isn’t worth living become a 24/7 occurrence, and the hole becomes deeper and more difficult to wrench yourself from.
Side effects of severe depression include inability to concentrate, sleeping too much (or too little), reduced libido and withdrawal from normal activities such as socializing with friends and family. Extreme fatigue is a debilitating effect of severe depression and this can sometimes be accompanied by headaches and stomach problems like indigestion.
Many people suffering from severe depression find they have no appetite for the foods they once really enjoyed and end up losing an alarming amount of weight that could affect their health and well-being. Others eat too much, often bingeing and suffer from rapid weight gain.
Severe depression can affect people of all age groups, including children and the elderly. Children suffering from severe depression often exhibit lethargy and a decline in the quality of school work. They may also become insecure, cling to parents or develop whiney and moody habits. Most children display these symptoms at times, but if they begin to indicate a real decline in quality of life, a health care provider should be consulted.
Older people may experience signs of severe depression that include cognitive problems and memory loss. Health problems may exacerbate severe depression, especially if the problems affect the person’s lifestyle. Changes are especially difficult for the elderly. Losing a spouse, moving from loved ones and friends and other transformations of lifestyle may bring on severe depression in the elderly.
Psychologically, severe depression can be persistent and negative thoughts may be difficult to banish from your mind. Coping skills might become non-existent, plunging a person with severe depression even deeper into despair. If you think you or a loved one may be living with severe depression, seek help before the symptoms begin to devastate your health and your life.