Over 20 million people in America alone are living with depression. The situation is not better across the globe. Here in the dark and cold Finland where I live, approximately 5-6% of the population suffers from depression. The symptoms of depression can be complex based on the type of disorder you are suffering from. This makes its treatment to be challenging. The disorder is handled using medications and therapy among other approaches. Sometimes, depression leads to suicide. If you do not want to be a victim of this serious disorder, it is important to understand the symptoms of depression. This way, you will be able to seek the necessary assistance before the condition worsens. Here are 10 signs of depression, which are most common:
Lack of energy or fatigue
It is normal for a human being to feel less energetic and tired from time to time. Hence, fatigue cannot be said to be a specific symptom of depression. However, if you feel tired often and the fatigue does not go away, you might have depression. This can be accompanied by lack of motivation. You might have noticed that you can no longer handle the activities you used to with the same vigor. If the fatigue is accompanied by other — especially physical — symptoms like sleep problems, unexplained headaches, muscle pain, stomach upsets or appetite changes that prevent you from living normal life, then you might be suffering from depression.
Too much sleep
Although most people only think of insomnia as a health problem, if you are having more sleep than normal, there might be something wrong. While some people respond to depression through insomnia, others sleep a lot when they are experiencing the disorder. The average time for a normal person to sleep is six to eight hours. If you are oversleeping and you often experience low moods and sadness without any obvious reason, you may have depression. If you find it difficult to get up in the mornings and nothing can cheer you up during the day, you might want to seek for help soon.
Lack of sleep
The sleep patterns of different people differ. Hence, if you want to ascertain whether your sleep insomnia is because of depression, you need to assess the way you slept before. If there are disparities, there is no doubt that you are suffering from diagnosis. Where you have experienced depression in the past, it should worry you if your sleep pattern keeps worsening. However, there are exceptions. For instance, if you have been having stress for the better part of the week, your sleep will certainly be disrupted. It might not mean you have depression but it is important to address the problem.
If you have pains throughout your body, it might mean that you are under a depressive episode or you have experienced one lately. Some will complain of having unexplained headaches, abdominal pain and aches in other areas of the body, which are persistent. This can be a pointer for depression, although other disorders and ailments may also be diagnosed. It might be also worth paying attention if you feel that you are too sensitive to pain and even the mildest pain feels difficult to handle.
Weight and appetite changes
Your appetite and weight can tell you volumes about your psychological health. However, it should be noted that normally people tend to overeat at certain times. But when the behavior of overeating or loss of appetite is accompanied by mood changes, you should seek therapy. In addition, if you gain more than 5% weight within a short period, let’s say a month, should be a warning sign of depression. Therefore, if you are gaining weight due to overeating, it might mean that you are having depression. Although weight gain can indicate other ailments, depression is among them.
Some people exhibit memory problems during certain times. It may be because a financial or a family issue, which needs a resolution distracts them. However, if your memory or concentration continues to get worse, you should get yourself medically examined. You might also note that your cognitive abilities are declining significantly. When this is the case, do not hesitate to look for assistance. Forgetfulness is normal as we age. However, when it gets worse, it is time to seek a health professional that can help.
If you feel fatigued at work, chances are that you are undergoing a depressive period. Actually, as experts put it, most people who complain of being tired at work or stressed may be depressed. It is important that you gauge the amount of time which you have been feeling fatigued due to a work assignment. Are the symptoms overstaying? If you are tired frequently, you might be suffering from depression.
Withdrawal from social situations
Social withdrawal is among the most significant symptoms of depression. When most people are depressed, they respond by withdrawing from social interactions. A person might suddenly — or gradually — quit seeing his friends or attending other pleasurable activities. They will also avoid doing their daily activities. This makes it difficult for the person to be monitored. It also increases the risk of committing suicide.
World around the patient changes
Depression patients tend to perceive the world to be different from other people. They may feel that the world has lost its zeal and color. They might also not appreciate music, or they burst into tears when they hear certain song or certain type of music. The depressed people do not appreciate everything around them, even their favorite things or places. You might find that house pictures or office objects, which have been there for a long time have started becoming unfamiliar. If you feel like this, it is important to talk to your physician. They will help you to arrest depression before it becomes serious.
Where you are feeling sad, there are many ways you can use to determine whether it is a sign of depression. How intense is the sadness? How long have you been sad? Do you know the cause of the sadness? If the sadness is severe or it has lingered for a long time, you might be experiencing a depressive episode. Again, if you cannot explain the real cause of the long-lasting sadness, you might have depression.
Depression has become a health concern across the world. It affects people of all ages. Its symptoms can be manifested alone or in a combination. If you are able to identify the above signs, you can be able to prevent depression from taking advantage of your life. You can also help a loved one. Identifying these symptoms earlier helps you to find solutions for the disorder beforehand. If you notice any of them, seek further advice from your physician.