The symptoms of depression can become disabling.  Unless they are addressed, they can make depression worse and cause it to last longer.  Taking steps to manage symptoms can help you to feel better and give you the strength to work toward recovery.

The common symptoms of depression are:

  • Low mood
  • Loss of energy
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating and poor memory
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Low self-esteem
  • Avoiding people (sometimes even family and friends)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of libido and/or sexual problems
  • Not functioning at work, college or school
  • Physical aches and pains

The ways in which you respond to these symptoms can determine whether your depression worsens or improves.  For example, if your response to loss of energy is to use lots of caffeine and/or other stimulants to stay alert during the day, you might find that you struggle to get off to sleep at night, and as a result are even more tired the following day.  Similarly, using alcohol to help you sleep may have a short term benefit, but (because alcohol is a depressant) will make things worse in the long ter