6 warning signs of depression

February 20, 2013

depression
Many people struggle with depression. I am one of them. I have shared about my struggle here.

Over time, I am slowly beginning to learn the early warning signs/symptoms of when I am heading towards a time of depression. The warning signs/symptoms tell me that I need to get help or I need to stop or I need to change certain things or I need to do all of the above.

These warning signs/symptoms don’t necessarily prevent my me from having a time of depression but they do help give me the edge and stamina to run through it.

Six warnings signs of depression

1. Sense of hopelessness.

I start to believe that life is not getting any better and I see little or no hope for improvement. My thoughts begin to become tainted with pessimistic views of myself and I begin to feel apathetic and melancholy.

2. Difficulty concentrating.

I begin to find it difficult to stay focused for a prolonged period of time. I find it hard to read and be creative.

3. Decision making comes hard.

I begin to feel ambivalent and I have lots of uncertainty about what I should or should not be doing. Little decisions begin to feel like big decisions.

4. Irritability.

Everything begins to rub me the wrong way. I find myself getting upset with my family and others more.

5. Lowered activity levels.

I begin to have NO motivation to exercise, get out or do anything for that matter. Everything becomes a huge task. All I want to do is crash on the couch and do NOTHING.

6. Aches and pains.

I begin to experience more headaches, stomach aches and heartburn. My whole body just seems to hurt all over.

depression

These are my warning signs; others may have different ones because the symptoms of depression can vary from person to person.

What are your warning signs/symptoms that tell you that you’re heading toward depression?

***** This was first posed on February 4, 2010.  I decided to repost it because this is an ongoing struggle for me and I hope this is helpful for someone else who is struggling with depression.

Kevin Martineau

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I am the Pastor at Port Hardy Baptist Church on Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. I am married to my best friend and I have three beautiful daughters.

43 responses to 6 warning signs of depression

  1. I understand this. I lost a very good friend to chronic depression. It takes a lot to man-up and ask for help. I wish you all the best, and a brighter future.

  2. Thanks for sharing about your struggle and how you deal with it Evelyn!

  3. I get depressed often because my only child was born with a disability. I try to focus on the positive and to remember that God is in control.

    I tend to do a lot of eating..especially those foods that I know are not healthy for me. I snap out of it by praying, fasting and spending quiet time with God. This really keeps me grounded.

    Good post, sir!
    My recent post Natural Health Laws for Physical Perfection

  4. Yeah, so you just described me… what about you?

    :-)

    My recent post Faith in the workplace – by Nancy Rosback

  5. There are many people who God used in our history that struggled with depression.
    I am one that at times I do. I sought God in why this happens to me. And I have two answers.

    I am (artistic, creative) , a musician and writer. depression goes along with the territory of being creative, as in, a thorn in my flesh. When I go through these things I have learned that God is about to bless me with another lesson about himself. Being weakened by this, it helps me to be humble and call on God and listen for his heartbeat. Thus, the humble receive grace.
    I also have a mental checklist that I go through for my physical : Did I drink too much coffee, or not enough water, am I eating correctly, too much sweets or not enough good foods. Am I getting my rest.

    • Those of us who are artistic/creative are sensitive, we’re made that way, it all comes together in a package. Being sensitive can lead to … well I’ll jump ahead to depression. It’s a lifetime battle for me with only periods of freedom from it. I will pray for you today. Thanks for honestly sharing with us.

      Mary

  6. kenneth Chrisman February 7, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    The other part of the answer is from my past, I was a drinker. I drank anything that said alcohol. Part of my depression is from drinking many years ago.
    Even though I do go through this , God uses it to our advantage, I learn. Before God uses me in an opportunity most times I go through a hard storm. And as I focus on the Lord he draws me through to the other side and all the lessons I learned in that time, I am able to share with the person God brings me into contact with to encourage them. Even now with you.
    see my simple website: http://sites.google.com/site/encouragedbyhiscreat
    God bless you all, Love KenC :-))

  7. Anne Lang Bundy January 4, 2011 at 6:12 am

    Depression hadn't been a problem for 17 yrs. In the the last 15 mos it has sometimes been debilitating. This post is helpful in suggesting to watch for symptoms. I've found two things to help. Playing Sudoku is a crutch that solves nothing, but does require enough concentration to avoid an imminent crying jag. Much better is immersing myself in the Lord. Bible and prayer must be consistent, or they can bring on the crying. Being surrounded by Christians can also help. The bottom line is getting my eyes off myself. I best beat the blues when I'm helping someone else. I don't stay down during time spent pulling someone else up.

    As you've aptly described, I've learned that Christians can have both depression and faith. Something happened during trauma, so I'm not yet certain there aren't chemical changes I still need to deal with. I continue to seek healing, with hope for my characteristic joy to be restored.

    I wonder often how much to share, between transparency and seeking advice, and wallowing in misery.
    My recent post Happy New Year!

  8. Thanks for your transparency Anne!

    I was diagnosed with clinical depression 4 years ago and I really struggled with taking medication for it because I falsely thought that showed a lack of trust in God. In reality, it doesn't! My body doesn't produce enough serotonin or dopamine and there is nothing I can do about that. I need to take medication to help with this just like I need to take medication to control my diabetes.

    Each year I am learning a little more about managing my depression. Every year, I know that it is going to come in some shape or form and I am learning to be more proactive against it.

    Anne, I pray that you will find the best "tools" to manage your depression.

    Don't lose hope! :)
    My recent post What are your goals for 2011

  9. After last night, I thought I would come reading. One of your posts on depression was on your front page, so I read it, then I read another, now this one. I have to say you are for me an eye-opener. Thanks Kevin!

  10. Hi Kevin,
    thank you for creating awareness with your post about whether we may be depressed.

    When I realized that I was depressed it did help me on the road to recovery.
    Since then I have been seeing a counselor and learned various ways to look after myself.
    Making decisions is one of the challenges I face, but being aware of what it is related to I can be compassionate with myself.

    I appreciate your post!
    Love and Light
    Yorinda

  11. Great post Kevin! I think winter time has a lot to do with depression to, not seeing the sun for weeks on end does play havoc on my mind as well as my body! But the sun in finally shining today I just took a walk and I am all SMILES :) Thanks for sharing.. Chery

  12. Really important message Kevin. Depression is a very serious condition and not to be taken lightly. Part of the problem is it takes so long to properly diagnose and most of us try so hard to mask our feelings. Thanks for providing the signs to watch for.

    • You make a great point of many of us trying to mask our feelings. I did this for years before I finally was willing to purse getting some help.

      Thanks for sharing Marquita!

  13. Depression can affect almost everyone at any given time. I’ve found a few things that can work without overdosing on medication. From my personal experience and research , here are few tips that can help avoid or reduce the depression significantly.

    1) Get enough sunlight – strange but true , lack of vitamin D and the life giving rays of the sun has natural healing and mood uplifting
    effect.Just 1 – 2 hours a day is enough
    2 ) Keep fit – Eat natural foods . Eat less or avoid refined foods like sugar, cakes etc . Eat more of vegetables, fruits , whole grains and sugar substitute like jaggery or even better zero calorie stevia.
    3) Drink a glass of sodium bi carbonate solution (1 tsp in large 300 ml) will do, especially if you eat refined food , meat etc to reduce acid
    and free radical attack in your body
    4) Take mineral tablets – If you do not use vegetable / fruits in sufficient quantity, you are not getting enough minerals.But tablets are not real substitute for the real thing..
    5) Get some useful work done every day. Either for yourself or someone you care for or those in need.
    6) Have short term goals and long term vision on what you’d like to do and achieve. Avoid negative people/thoughts and attitude.

    This should help everyone just as it has for me. Cheers !

  14. Three best weapons I have found against depression: prayer and meditation; consistent cardiovascular exercise; and excellent nutrition. Added to that, getting out of myself by reaching out to others, or doing something for someone has been really helpful. Thanks for being so vulnerable, Kevin!

  15. I remember when I was a young Christian (weak in faith), I used to think that it was impossible to be a Christian and be depressed. I used to reason with things like, “You’ve been saved.. you’ve been given joy! It’s not possible!!”

    But as I’ve grown a little, I’ve seen that many people struggle with a chemical imbalance.. it can be temporary or chronic. I realized this when I tried getting off caffeine cold-turkey, and it launched me into a pretty deep depression. I didn’t want to feel that way.. but I did!! and I couldn’t control it!

    • Unfortunately many Christians believe it is impossible for a Christian to be depressed. It is just not true. Thankfully this is beginning to change.

      Thanks for sharing Chris!

  16. Depression just creeps over you in no time and you suddenly realize you cannot do anything right. Watch out for these signs and do activities that please you and make you feel good. Give yourself a change of environment and you may feel much better. Great share.

  17. Depression can be very depressing not just the person suffering rom it but also to caregivers. I like what “Suresh” above has to say and the tips
    for keeping depression at bay. Try the natural ways to beat stress instead
    of popping multiple pills.

  18. Very useful info on depression , I also like the inputs from bloggers comments , you have very caring bunch of visitors here. Thanks for the post !

  19. I think I’ve suffered from depression my whole life. After a suicide attempt, I found my self in the hospital for a week, and was diagnosed as bi-polar as well. One of my major warning signs is lack of interest in any/all activities I normally love.

  20. Thanks for sharing this Kevin;

    I actually read this awhile back but forgot to leave a comment. I, too, have issues with this and have shared my thoughts as well over on my blog @ http://crzydjm.wordpress.com/tag/depression/

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