10 Signs of Depression
16.1 million US adults battle with depression 0
Depression is a common mental condition that negatively affects how you think, feel and act. Although it is a serious condition, it is also treatable. Perpetual feelings of sadness or losing interest in activities that once were enjoyable are just a few signs of depression. This can lead to a person’s inability to function at work and home due to being in emotional and physical distress. Anyone can be affected by depression. Even those who appear to be in relatively ideal circumstances (i.e. wealthy, obtain material things, having a lot of family or friends around) can suffer from depression. Depression is a condition that is not exclusively formed by environmental factors, but can also be produced by genetic predispositions, biochemical conditions and even personality.
Your family history is important when it comes to considering many health conditions and depression is no exception. Many researchers compare the data between twins to draw this conclusion. If one identical twin has depression, there is a 70 percent chance that the other will experience the illness sometime in their life. Of course, there is no one depression gene that is inherited, however each person inherits a certain combination of genes that can very well predispose an individual to this illness.
One’s personality may play a major role in depression as well. Those with low self-esteem, or who are easily overwhelmed by stress, or generally pessimistic in nature are more susceptible to experiencing depression.
Certain chemical imbalances in the brain can be a driving factor in depression symptoms.
Types of Depression
Seasonal Depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder normally arises during a season in which a period of major depression occurs. This typically happens in the winter months when there is less exposure to sunlight and typically dissipates in the spring and summer.
Bipolar Disorder or Manic Depression
Manic Depression is classified as experiencing extreme highs and lows. You may endure episodes of extreme high energy and extreme low energy or depressive periods. When going through depressive periods, one may exhibit symptoms related major depression.
Atypical Depression can affect people with this condition by increasing appetite, causing one to be hypersensitive to criticism, may trigger the individual to sleep more than usual and feel heaviness in arms and legs. Of course, with this type of depression, positive events can temporarily improve mood and antidepressants can also help.
Major Depression or Major Depressive Disorder
Major Depressive Disorder is the state in which one feels depressed most of the time or most days out of the week. Some key symptoms include weight gain or loss, low energy, or feeling mentally and physically sluggish, suicidal thoughts, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and no longer taking pleasure in hobbies or other fun activities.
Peripartum (Postpartum) Depression
Postpartum Depression is identified in women who have major depression weeks or months after giving birth.
This type is a combination of having psychotic symptoms along with major depression. People with psychotic depression may see or hear things that aren’t there, carry false beliefs or delusions and feel paranoid by wrongly believing others are trying to harm them.
Situational Depression can be formed when you’re having a difficult time enduring a stressful event such as losing your home or job, a death in the family or going through a divorce. It is typically classified as stress response syndrome in which your body may respond to major stressful events by being in a depressed mood.
Signs of Depression
Chronic fatigue may be an underlying symptom of depression. Feeling lethargic, not having the energy to complete daily or mundane tasks are just a few signs that the state of your mental health may be the culprit here.
Changes in your sleep pattern may be another sign of depression. Whether that’s sleeping too much, or not enough, your sleeping habits are a great indicator of the conditions of your mental or emotional health.
Changes in Appetite
Loss of appetite, or overindulging are just symptoms of a deeper issue when it comes to your mental health. Eating is a necessary requirement for maintaining overall physical health. However, if you find that you are overindulging to suppress emotions or not eating at all because you are in a dispiriting state, seeking a professional can help.
Lack of focus on important tasks, or just in general may be a sign of depression. When your focus is scattered, this could affect productivity and negatively impact your home and work life.
Less Interest in Activities
Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed is a key symptom in determining whether you are dealing with depression. Hobbies or activities you enjoy are mostly beneficial due to having the ability to relieve stress, boost mood, and enrich your life. It gives you something fun to do in your leisure time and allows you the opportunity to learn new skills. When you no longer find joy or interest in partaking in these naturally fulfilling activities, it may be best to seek a professional to help you find the joy in your past interests.
A low tolerance level and perpetual state of just feeling agitated, even violent may be another symptom. If you generally feel you maintain a short temper and everything or everyone gets on your nerves, it may be time to explore the deep-rooted cause of your irritability.
Everyone experiences feelings of guilt at some point in their lives. With depression, you may find yourself in a chronic state of feeling guilty or having a sense of unworthiness. You may also tend to criticize yourself harshly over simple mistakes or even wrongly perceived faults.
Recklessness is defined as having knowledge of certain behaviors being unhealthy or harmful and partaking in them.
Feelings of Hopelessness
Having a desolate outlook on life and a sense of feeling that nothing will get better, or your situation will never improve, even if there are options or possible ways to improve your situation may be a symptom of depression.
Unexplained pains and aches in the body with no true underlying physical illness may be a sign that you may need to take care of or explore the state of your mental health. Reoccurring headaches, back and stomach pain, or aching muscles are common symptoms of people dealing with depression.
When you no longer find joy or interest in partaking in these naturally fulfilling activities, it may be best to seek a professional to help you find the joy in your past interests.
Talk to your primary care doctor about your symptoms; or seek help directly from a mental health professional. If you’re reluctant to see a mental health professional, reach out to someone else who may be able to help guide you to treatment, whether it’s a friend or loved one, a teacher, a faith leader, or someone else you trust.