Clinical depression is distinguished from situational depression by length and severity.
- You can’t sleep enough or you sleep too much.
- You can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult.
- You feel worthless and hopeless.
- You can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try.
- You have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating.
- You are constantly irritated or become enraged even at small things’and this is new for you.
- You have thoughts that life is not worth living, or have a plan for how you would end it. (Seek help immediately if this is the case).
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
- A bleak outlook, nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities
- No interest in or ability to enjoy former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex.
- Appetite or weight changes
- Significant weight loss or weight gain a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes
- Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation
- Either feeling “keyed up” and restless or sluggish and physically slowed down.
- Loss of energy
- Feeling fatigued and physically drained. Even small tasks are exhausting or take longer.
- Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Harsh criticism of perceived faults and mistakes.
- Concentration problems
- Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
What Should You Do
If you have severe symptoms or suicidal thoughts, seek medical help immediately.
Lifestyle Changes That Can Help Depression
- Eat a Plant Based Diet – This can help increase brain serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels.
- Exercise – It may take about 7 days to start noticing improvements.
- Drink Water – Brain chemicals move through a water environment
- Get Enough Sunlight – This improves vitamin D levels which improve melatonin, allowing you to get better sleep.
- Breath Fresh Air – Negative ions in outdoor air improve health and mood. Negative ions are produced by pine trees, waterfalls, and ocean surf.
- Get Adequate Rest
- Trust in God – People who have a belief system that they apply to their lives recover from depression sooner. The circulation in their frontal lobes actually improves.