5 more warning signs of depression and how to cope with them

In my previous article, I wrote about five warning signs of depression and how to cope with them. In this article, I’ll write about five more warning signs of depression. I’ll also give some tips on how to cope with these signs of depression.


It’s important not to struggle alone. In addition to using the coping ideas, speak to a friend, therapist or support group for support. Your GP should provide you with a list of charities in your area that will help you.

1. Feeling negative towards yourself

A warning sign of depression is a feeling of negativity towards yourself. Many people with depression feel they are failing in life and have let everyone down.

Take some time to write down the expectations you place on yourself, alongside the true origin of each. How many of these expectations belong to you? Many people find that the expectations they place on themselves belong to other people.

If it feels like your situation, explore some expectations that have meaning to you. When you work towards goals that resonate with you, you’ll have more motivation and increase satisfaction in the journey.

2. Difficulty concentrating

People suffering from feelings of depression tend to have trouble concentrating, even watching television or reading the newspaper can prove too much. Depression causes impairment in cognitive function but disrupted sleep and poor nutrition do too. If you’re also struggling to sleep and don’t have the motivation to fill your body with nutritious foods, this will enhance your concentration difficulties.

Before trying anything else, speak with a hypnotherapist who has experience working with sleep issues to create a healthy sleep plan. Also, check in with a nutritional therapist to ensure you’re getting adequate nutrition. You may find you’re deficient in certain nutrients and need supplements alongside a different diet.

These things alone can improve your cognitive functioning. Yoga, mindfulness, and meditation can help you take control of your thoughts, empowering you to redirect your thinking when necessary.

3. Psychomotor retardation

A known component of depression is psychomotor retardation. This presents as slower speech, a reduction in movement, and impaired cognitive function (as per the above). The basal ganglia system is the part of your brain responsible for motor control and requires dopamine to function effectively.

The PHQ-9 questionnaire describes this sign of depression as; moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed. Or the opposite — being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual. Researchers assess psychomotor retardation in relation to depression through observation of facial expressions, speech, self-touching, posture, eye movements, and speed and degree of movements.

If you notice psychomotor retardation in yourself, or someone points it out to you, speak with your GP to rule out any medical condition. A therapist can help you work through your symptoms of depression, so you don’t suffer alone.

4. Self-harm

Feeling the need to hurt yourself in some way is another red flag for depression. Most people instantly think of cutting when they hear the words self-harm. However, punching, hitting, burning, scratching, picking, hair pulling, bruising, biting, starving yourself, purging, bingeing, overexercising and promiscuous behaviours are all forms of self-harm.

You might use one or some of these behaviours to punish yourself, to shut off thoughts and feelings, or to create some feeling. If this is something you’re doing or thinking of doing, please seek support. A therapist can help you work through the thoughts in your mind and find a way to meet your needs in a healthy way. Speaking to somebody often takes a huge weight away, so you can feel more able to breathe in general.

5. Suicidal ideation

Suicidal ideation is a big red flashing light telling you to speak to somebody about how you feel. If you are preoccupied with death or suicide, wish you were dead, or contemplate suicide, you might feel no one can help. Some examples of people you can talk to about this are.

  • a free charity crisis hotline 
  • a leader in your community if you belong to one.
  • your GP
  • a close friend or family member
  • a private therapist with experience in depression and suicide ideation

Thoughts of suicide are not a symptom of depression that you need to cope with or manage alone. A hypnotherapist can help you learn self-hypnosis and mindfulness techniques, so you can take charge of these thoughts. However, you may need to surround yourself with a network of support to get through this difficult part of depression.

If you need immediate help and are worried you can’t keep yourself safe, please:

  • go to your nearest A&E department
  • call 999 if you can’t get to a hospital
  • ask someone to take you to A&E or call 999 for you

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Farnham GU9 & GU10
Written by Juliet Hollingsworth, MSc
Farnham GU9 & GU10

Juliet is a trauma-informed therapist. Her passion is helping people reach their potential through a combination of hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and transpersonal psychology. Juliet works online and face to face with clients across the world. (DHP Clinical Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy. MSc Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal psychology.)

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