Depression not only affects a person’s thoughts and feelings, but can also impact on their behaviour and cause them physical symptoms.


  • Anger and Irritability
    • One of the most common symptoms of depression in men. These emotions seem to come out of nowhere, and can in turn lead to feelings of shame. They are usually the consequence of feeling hopeless/helpless. Also  a lack of sleep caused by depression, can result in feeling short-tempered and irritated
  • Indecision
    • Depression can cause focus and concentration to diminish, making it difficult to make decisions. This can also be made worse by the sleep disruption depression causes
  • Self-medicating
    • This can be one way those with depression try and cope with it. However this often makes the depression even worse. It is suggested that nearly 1/3 of people with depression abuse alcohol
  • Difficulty sitting in silence
    • Due to overthinking and the negative thoughts entering the mind and repeating on loop, sitting in silence can be extremely difficult for someone with depression
  • Having difficulties in your home/work/family
    • Irritability can consequently affect our relationships with others. People can also withdraw from others, further making this worse. Problems with focus and concentration can also lead work to decline. This is turn can cause problems in the workplace.  Self-medicating with alcohol or drugs can again exacerbate difficulties at home/work/in the family
  • Extreme fatigue
    • Sleep disruption leads to a lack of energy, that can also lead to moving and speaking more slowly
  • Brain fog
    • As cognitive functions reduce (including memory), and those with depression experience sleep deprivation, people may experience slower reaction times. They may also experience, forgetfulness and an inability to concentrate or focus. Decision making may also be made more difficult by the overthinking that occurs in the mind of someone with depression
  • Feeling guilt-ridden
    • People with depression struggle to have perspective on negative events, therefore leading them to feel responsible for negative things that happen, and making them feel guilty
  • Perfectionism
    • People with depression often believe that others will only love them if they are perfect, leading to consequent perfectionism. Making mistakes is human nature, but those with depression may view it as a personal flaw
  • Unexplained aches and pains
    • Emotions are not processed properly, thus people tend to focus on the physical symptoms they experience (rather than underlying emotional problems), leading them to identify unexplained aches and pains
  • Changes to your menstrual cycle
    • During depressive phases we see a rise in the hormone cortisol, which sends a message to the brain and reproductive system to delay/pause ovulation, leading to a delayed or absent period
  • Falling over
    • People with depression tend to be less aware and attentive to their surroundings so may trip or fall more often. They often feel “out of body” and disconnected from the world
  • Constipation
    • Because a person’s appetite is negatively affected with depression, this means their dietary intake is usually poor & thus they lack essential fibre & nutrients. Low fluid intake (another common symptom) can also make this worse

If you think you’re suffering:

  • Speak to friends and family about how you’re feeling
  • Consider lifestyle changes such as getting more exercise, cutting down on alcohol and eating more healthily
  • Take a look at some self-help books to try and assist you in finding the causes of what makes you feel depressed
  • Be sure to book an appointment with your GP, as they can help with diagnosis/treatment/referral for therapy such as CBT, to help determine and rectify the thoughts and feelings fuelling your depression

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To learn more helpful hints and tips to maintain overall positive mental health, listen to our podcast Making The Change.