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The Four Famous Stages of Depression: An In-Depth Look

Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects individuals of all ages and backgrounds. While the symptoms and intensity may vary from person to person, it’s important to understand the stages of depression and how to support yourself and loved ones who may be struggling with it.

Stage One: Sadness

This is usually the first stage of depression, which can manifest in feelings of sadness or hopelessness. While these feelings are normal after a difficult day or week, if they remain for more than two weeks, it could be an underlying sign of depression that needs to be addressed.

FotoDuets/ Getty Images | Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide

Stage Two: Guilt

Guilt often follows the initial feeling of sadness when someone is depressed. An individual feeling guilty about their current circumstances or life decisions can further magnify this depressed mood and easily spiral out of control if precautions aren’t taken immediately.

FotoDuets/ Getty Images | Depression really affects thousands of humans all over the world

Stage Three: Emptiness

During this phase, an individual may feel hollow inside with no emotional response, even when engaging in activities they once enjoyed, such as exercising or socializing with friends. Feelings of complete detachment from reality or ‘numbness’ can also appear during this stage, and individuals should seek professional help at the earliest opportunity if these symptoms remain constant.

Stage Four: Despair

The final stage, before seeking treatment through psychological therapy or medication management becomes necessary, is typically despair. At this stage, people will lose all hope in life, isolating themselves from family, friends, and other social networks and exhibiting symptoms such as insomnia or loss of appetite. These extreme states should be addressed by a medical professional for optimal results.

Emily Roberts/ Verywell​ | Mental health problems are challenging and complicated, and it’s important to get support when faced with them

It’s important to remember that everyone experiences different stages and levels of depression, so understanding each person’s unique situation can be beneficial in providing them with the right type of support they need to get better. If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, it’s ok to reach out for help. Many resources are available, including talking therapies, self-help groups, peer support groups, and medication if required. Remember: one step at a time leads to recovery!

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