Depression Symptoms in Men and Women
Depression symptoms are not unique in everyone. It can affect each individual differently. That is, symptoms of depressive disorder vary from one person to another depending on the gender, age, lifestyle, health status, and cultural background.
Environmental factors also play a major role on the characteristic of the disorder. For instance, depression symptoms can be less severe in the life of a person living in a loving family or environment than in the life of an individual isolated or socially rejected. In those people, the latter group tends to feel miserable and struggle with suicidal thoughts.
In general, depression symptoms in men and women include:
- Crying spells for no apparent reason
- Persistent feelings of sadness or unhappiness
- Unreasonable irritability, restlessness, angry outbursts or frustration
- No or lack of interest in normal activities
- Lower or reduced interest in sexual activities
- Changes in appetite – decreased appetite or increased cravings for food
- Weight loss or gain due to the changes in the appetite
- Sleep disorders: difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia) or excessive sleeping
- Slowed thinking which can be associated with distractibility and decreased concentration
- slowed speech, slowed body movements
- Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy associated with indecisiveness
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt: fixating on past failures or blaming her/himself when things aren’t going right
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
- Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide (which indicates a severe depression that requires immediate professional help)
Depression Symptoms in Children and Teens
In children and teenagers, depression symptoms can be slightly different than in adults. But they can be as severe and even life-threatening as in adults. Children will not seek medical care even if they are depressed. Therefore, it is the job of the parents to seek medical help if they suspect any of these depression symptoms in their children or teens:
- Negligence in schoolwork
- Sadness, irritability, hopelessness and worry (mostly younger children).
- Anxiety, anger and avoidance of social interaction (adolescents and teens).
- Changes in thinking and sleep (adolescents and adults)
- Behavior problems and other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
For more info, visit Depression Symptoms in Teenagers
Depression Symptoms in Older Adults and the Elderly
Depressive disorder is less common in older adults and the elderly population. The reason is because most of them feel satisfied with their lives or accept life the way it is. However, some of them are also depressed due to certain circumstances. Unfortunately, the depression often left undiagnosed and untreated which put them at risk of complications. Some of common depression symptoms in older adults include:
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep problems
- Loss of interest in sex
- Feel bored, helpless or worthless
- Feeling of dissatisfaction with life in general
- Lack of desire to go out but always want to stay at home
- Suicidal thoughts which explain a serious depression.
Depression associated with suicidal thoughts should not be taken lightly; special care and help are needed right away. Do not wait until it’s too late; take the following steps if you are depressed and thinking of suicide:
- Contact a family member or friend who can understand and support you; but avoid “naysayers” or people who will make you feel worst.
- Seek medical help from a professional in treating depression or a specialist in psychiatry and psychology
- Call a suicide hot line number — US residents can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 to talk to a trained counselor.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader or someone in your faith community. But be aware of wolves in sheep’s clothing who can take advantage: Financially, sexually… There are plenty of those hypocrites in church. Do not donate or pay anyone for prayers; you cannot buy the grace of God.
- You can also take the habit to pray regularly (prayer therapy). If you are not familiar with praying and praising, you can contact a church member or leader, or someone in your faith community. But the best thing is to start slow and believe in what you are doing. A typical prayer has 3 parts:
- 1st, Thank God for everything he has done for you (Gratitude) so far
- 2nd, Ask for forgiveness. Regardless of what you may hear hear on TV or radio, we are all sinners and in need of the grace of God.
- 3rd, make your personal request. That is, ask God everything you want by pouring your heart out sincerely. He is a loving father; he will answer your prayer according to your faith. Be persistent if things do not show promptly.