There are no definitive stages of depression as the illness manifests differently in every individual according to internal and external factors such as gender, age or cultural influences. However, there are some similar, or typical, symptoms or behaviors related to depression that may occur between various individuals.
A person experiencing severe or mild depression may have difficulty interpreting or handling their emotional responses. As detailed on Healthy Holistic Living (healthy-holistic-living.com), these emotions may include feelings of hopelessness, a lack of confidence, irritability, anger, fear and tension/anxiety. Depending on the source or type of depression, these feelings will vary in severity and length of time during which they are overwhelming to an individual.
A depressed person's thoughts are often clouded or overburdened. A person may have thoughts of guilt, worthlessness or self-harm; an individual could also experience impaired judgment, memory loss or have difficulty making rational decisions. (Healthy Holistic Living, 2009).
Some typical behaviors, or outward warning signs, of depression, as outlined by Healthy Holistic Living (2009), could include lethargy, impulsiveness, neglect of personal hygiene or appearance, loss of appetite, insomnia and a general lack of enjoyment in life's pleasures.
Because there is no one cause of depression, it is difficult to determine a specific cycle related to the behaviors and emotions of a depressed individual. These symptoms are merely generalizations and may be indicative of other underlying medical problems. As with any illness, depression should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional. Because of the nature of depression, it is imperative to look into an individual's specific mental, emotional and environmental triggers to target their specific form of depression in order to plan for an individualized approach to healing.