12 signs of depression and when you should seek help

07 August 2018 - 11:31 By TimesLIVE
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group has listed 12 symptoms of depression.
The South African Depression and Anxiety Group has listed 12 symptoms of depression.
Image: 123RF/Katarzyna Białasiewicz

It's important to understand that feeling depressed doesn't mean you have depression.

According to online medical resource WebMD, depression involves not only changes in mood, but also "changes in sleep, energy, appetite, concentration, and motivation. If you have symptoms like these and find yourself feeling depressed much of the time for days or weeks, see your doctor.”

The South African Depression and Anxiety group, SADAG, lists these 12 symptoms of depression:

1.  Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities you once enjoyed, including sex.

2. Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism.

3. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness and self-reproach.

4. Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping.

5. Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain.

6. Decreased energy, fatigue and feeling run down.

7. Increased use of alcohol and drugs; may be associated but not a criterion for diagnosis.

8. Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts.

9. Restlessness, irritability, hostility.

10. Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions.

11. Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain.

12. Deterioration of social relationships.

SADAG says if you need a referral to a psychologist, psychiatrist or support group, you can call The South African Depression and Anxiety Group on 011 234 4837 or 0800 20 50 26 and speak to a trained counsellor who can assist you further.

“Seeking help from friends and family helped me defeat depression.” - Bonnie Mbuli

SADAG Substance Abuse line 0800 12 13 14 is available 24hrs.

This depression quiz is based on the Depression Screening Test by Ivan Goldberg, M.D.