Understanding Depression: Frequently Asked Questions About Its Warning Signs

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I have been in the digital marketing industry for more than six years now. I started as a content writer for an agency that created websites for different companies. After a couple of years, I applied to another agency to become a social media manager. A few years later, I felt like I had the necessary connections and knowledge to open my own digital marketing firm, and I did it.

Many people praised my decision to do so. Most of them said that it would mean an addition to the handful of lady bosses in the industry. After all, even though it was about marketing products and services, it was still a male-dominated career. Some folks admired my guts, considering I did not have formal training as a digital marketer. They were correct about that – I learned everything through experience. Others would even jokingly ask me, “How can I be like you, Andrea?”

I would smile in reply and talk about the importance of having a competitive team to back you up to all these. It was mostly true – I might have gotten nowhere if I hired people who did not know what I asked them to do. As for the last question, when it was only my husband and me, I would answer, “Try dealing with depression and using digital marketing to save your butt.”

Opening My Version Of Pandora’s Box

It was in middle school when my sleeping and eating patterns began to shift. My parents maintained that I should sleep at nine o’clock on school days so that I would look – and think – my best in the morning. I followed that rule like any obedient daughter would for a few months. However, the more rigid my lessons became, the harder I found it to fall asleep quickly. Because of that, I turned to read my favorite book series – Harry Potter

Whenever my parents would close my bedroom door, I would keep my eyes closed until I heard theirs close as well. Then, I would jump out of my bed to get a book from the series and read until three o’clock in the morning. I could sleep for three hours after that before Mom would wake me up to prepare for school. 

I did that secret routine up to high school. By that time, I was already a fast reader to the extent that I could finish a 300+-page book in less than six hours every night. When I got slightly bored with the Harry Potter series, I moved on to the Twilight Saga, which is supposed to be a long read, too. My friends envied me for having such skills and not getting caught by my parents once.

When I went off to college, I agreed to take up Chemistry, even though I wanted to take up Communications. I excelled at sciences, and I honored my parents’ words that I could still go to writing workshops if I wanted to be a writer later. As expected, the more semesters I dealt with, the more challenging my classes became. In my third year, I had already lost complete interest in Chemistry and asked my parents if I could shift courses, but they said no. “Finish Chemistry first, then we’ll talk about that,” Dad said firmly.

Being stuck in classes that I did not care for and resenting my parents for not listening to what I wanted to do in life caused me to slip into depression. I lived in the dorms, so it was easy to skip classes or pretend I was in one when Mom or Dad called. I would still go to class sometimes, but that’s only to take exams. This new routine went on even to the next semester, though I didn’t go to classes at all. I also shut my friends/classmates out and didn’t answer calls from anyone.

I isolated myself because I was feeling so stressed out and pressured. At that time, all I knew was that being away from the crowd and not mingling with others was the solution that could save me from despair. However, I didn’t know it would be the start of more destructive habits.

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How did I not end up killing myself, you might ask?

The Warning Signs

I was on the verge of doing that, frankly speaking. I would not sleep or eat for as long as I could. It’s not that I did not want to sleep or eat; it’s just that the voices inside my head were somewhat paralyzing. I would try to decipher them in the morning, and then I would eventually realize that the day had passed me by already. The only way to lessen the noise was to write my problems in a notebook until they stopped. 

I was becoming unreasonable, and with the depression, my situation got worse sometimes; even if I openly wrote about my struggles and feelings, it didn’t help. And even if I try to re-focus and work on the things that will make me feel better, such as listening to music, making art, and painting, these things do not work. I am not okay, and I know that. I acknowledge the fact that I am mentally and emotionally unstable, and I lack the confidence to deal with my issues accordingly.

After doing that self-destruction for a couple of weeks, I began to struggle mentally and emotionally extremely. This is when the warning depression signs become more apparent.

When I couldn’t find a way out, I told myself that it was about time that I sought help. I found the courage to talk to my parents about everything. I expected them to disown me, but I was surprised when they both hugged me and apologized to me for going through that on my own. I shed buckets of tears that day, too, since I felt a heavy weight lifted off my chest. Then, when they asked what I wanted to do, I said that I wanted to try writing for a living. As people said, the rest became history.

Talking About Depression

I still find it challenging to talk about depression in person, but I would love to use this chance to write about it instead.

What Is The Most Reliable Symptom Of Depression?

 Among the most reliable symptoms of depression is hopelessness. 

What Are The Four Major Causes Of Depression?

  • The risk of depression is in your genes.
  • You have experienced some form of abuse.
  • You are dealing with chronic physical illness.
  • A loved one passed away.

What Are The Early Warning Signs In Mental Health?

  • The dramatic or constant change in your sleeping, thinking, and eating patterns
  • Lack of interest in activities or people you used to be unable to live without
  • Significant performance slump
  • Poor concentration or logic
  • Getting hurt by everything
  • Thinking that everyone is against you
  • Lack of sense of reality
  • Peculiar behavior

What Are The Signs Of Poor Mental Health?

  • Excessive worrying
  • Poor decision-making
  • Easily overwhelmed
  • Easily distracted
  • Increased sensitivity

What Are The Five Signs Of Mental Illness?

  • You get paranoid and worry too much about everything.
  • You feel sad or irritated for an extended period.
  • Your mood hits the extremes often.
  • You withdraw from your friends, family, and society.
  • Your sleeping and eating patterns have been erratic.

What Are The Four Types Of Depression?

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Major depression
  • Persistent depressive disorder (PDD)
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

What Is The Biggest Cause Of The Mental Illness?

 Abuse is the primary cause of depression.

Does The Mental Illness Count As A Disability?

 Yes, depression counts as a psychiatric disability.

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What Are The Seven Types Of Mental Disorders?

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Post-traumatic disorders
  • Dementia

What’s A Mental Breakdown?

 A mental breakdown is a term that people use to describe when a person succumbs to emotional or psychological stress. 

How Do I Know If I’m Bipolar?

Bipolar disorder symptoms are divided between mania and depression.

Manic Signs:

  • You feel “high” for hours or days, even if you have not taken substances.
  • You do not feel the need to sleep at all.
  • You talk as quickly as your mind races.
  • You want to act on every idea that comes to mind.
  • You cannot focus on a specific activity.
  • You get too confident.
  • You welcome risky – borderline life-threatening – activities.

Depressive Signs:

  • You feel sad, hopeless, and discouraged for a long time.
  • You refuse to meet your loved ones.
  • You no longer enjoy your favorite activities.
  • You either overeat or don’t eat at all.
  • You always feel exhausted.
  • You cannot recall or decide on anything.
  • Your mind gets preoccupied with suicidal thoughts.

What Is Stage 4 Mental Illness?

Reaching Stage 4 of any mental illness entails dealing with severe symptoms that most likely affect your functioning and relationships. At this level, one may be diagnosed with a major depressive disorder or other severe mental conditions.

Is Overreacting A Mental Illness?

 No, overreacting is technically not a mental illness but a symptom of one – particularly bipolar disorder.

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What Is Poor Mental Health?

Poor mental health is characterized by an individual’s inability to process situations without feeling tired, angry, sad, unhappy, or stressed. This can lead to various mental health problems, such as depression.

Final Thoughts

The takeaway from this blog is that depression is supposed to be seen as a life challenge, not the end of everything. If I managed to find success in life, anyone could do it. The key is to be honest about your mental health to the people you love.

It only takes a couple of motivations and dedication to get past the mental health dilemma. As long as you are open to talking about your situation, there will be some ways that can help you cope. Also, if you can’t seem to handle your depression or mental or emotional health struggle, you can always seek professional treatment. A therapist, counselor, or psychologist knows what to do. They can assist you with your mental health needs, provided that you are honest with what you are dealing with.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Five Major Indications Of Depression?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlined the following as the five major signs of depression:

  • Persistent feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, and sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in things and activities once enjoyed
  • Loss of appetite or weight
  • Sleep disturbances (excessive sleeping or insomnia)
  • Noticeable fatigue

Other signs of depression include difficulty remembering, concentrating, and making decisions, intense feelings of guilt, and worthlessness.

In severe cases, a major depressive disorder can also cause recurring thoughts of death or suicide and suicide attempts.

Experiencing some or combinations of these symptoms in more than two weeks is considered a depressive episode. However, only a professional healthcare provider can accurately diagnose and prescribe the right treatment for the condition.


How Is This Mental Health Problem Confirmed?

Depression is confirmed after a thorough assessment by a health care professional, usually a psychiatrist or psychologist. They use a comprehensive evaluation of the symptoms, medical history, and psychological factors of the patient. They use the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria (as mentioned previously) to determine whether the symptoms meet the qualification for a depressive disorder. They use standardized screening tools and questionnaires to gather detailed information about their patient. With that said, to get an accurate diagnosis of the condition, it is crucial to be open and honest during the evaluation process and the right treatment plan.

What Are The 3 Ps Of This Mental Health Issue?

The 3 Ps of depression stand for Persistent, Pervasive, and Personal. These are used to understand the nature and impact of the mental health condition.

Persistent means the depression symptoms are enduring, typically for at least two weeks.

Pervasive means the symptoms affect various aspects of a person’s life, including behaviour, mood, thoughts, and overall function.

Personal refers to the subjective experience, which is unique to each individual but influenced by multiple factors, such as perceptions and circumstances.

What Test Is Used For Diagnosing This Mental Health Problem?

It is important to note that there is no single specific test used by all healthcare professionals in the world that can definitely diagnose depression. Rather, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc., use a combination of different methods to assess whether the mental health condition is actually depression.

The combination of tests includes a thorough evaluation of the symptoms, medical history, and psychosocial factors. Clinicians often use standardized questionnaires or scales, such as the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) or the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), to assess the severity of the symptoms. For a more accurate diagnosis, healthcare professionals use these assessments as screening tools, not as a standalone diagnostic test.

What Is The Top Cause Of This Mental Health Problem?

As with other mental health conditions, depression is multifactorial. Specific triggers vary from one person to another. Depression and anxiety, substance abuse, and significant life events, such as financial difficulties, can all contribute to these factors. Moreover, a crisis lifeline is often recommended for immediate assistance.

Moreover, specific triggers vary from one person to another. Significant life events, such as financial difficulties, chronic stress, relationship problems, etc., can all contribute to these factors. Moreover, brain chemical imbalances (dopamine, serotonin, etc.) and genetic predisposition can increase the risk of depression.


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