Feeling blue? Should you be worried about your mental health? In this post, I will tell you about 10 signs of depression you should watch for. They can be manifested alone or in a combination, and some aren’t even commonly associated with this serious disease. I am not suggesting you, however, that you should autodiagnose yourself on the basis of this post. Depression is more complicated than it seems. What I mean is that if you notice these symptoms in your behavior, you should seek further medical advice. Untreated depression often leads to suicide.
10 Signs of Depression: How Many Do You Have?
If you do not want to fall victim to depression, it is important to understand its symptoms and mechanisms. This will enable you to seek help before it turns really nasty, or help a loved one who suffers from depression. Here are 10 signs of depression, which are regarded as the most common:
1. Changes in sleeping patterns
The times when it took you two minutes to fall asleep at night are over. Now, you spend hours in bed, turning from side to side, before you finally fall into the arms of Morpheus. Then, you either wake up in the middle of the night and don’t get a wink of sleep till morning, or you could sleep all day like me, which is less common. But, one way or another, you are constantly tired and slowed down.
2. Changes in appetite
Some people eat lots of comfort food and put lots on weight in a short time. Others don’t feel like eating at all and lose weight. A weight loss or weight gain bigger than 5% in a short time is definitely a warning sign that there is something wrong with you.
3. Irritability with no apparent external cause
Mood swings are one of the most common signs of depression, and it’s like PMS that lasts forever. You feel a tension in your body that nothing can ease. Depression is not just persistent sadness – for some, it’s an overwhelming rage. If not handled with care, you may explode anytime, so everyone from your family walks on tiptoes. Bursting out crying or getting angry for no significant reason are pretty common when your brain suffers from chemical imbalance.
4. Persistent feelings of hopelessness
Life doesn’t make any sense as it seems to be no better future waiting for you. It feels like you’re stuck in a bog up to your neck and can’t move.
You’re also neglecting your grooming habits. If showering and brushing your teeth feels like too much effort, it’s definitely a symptom of depression and you should do something about it.
5. Social isolation
You spend most of your free time at home, trying to isolate from your family members. The more time you spend alone, the more you ruminate and the more depressed you feel. So you chose to keep away from people. Meeting with friends would implicate pretending that everything is okay with you, which requires lots of effort, or sharing your misery, but you’re too much ashamed of yourself. It feels like nobody cares anyway, even though it isn’t true.
6. Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
You don’t remember when was the last time that you actually felt joy. Life is dull and boring. Food is insipid. You remember yourself as a passionate person with a lot of interests. Now, you spend most of your time watching boring TV shows or mindlessly browsing Facebook, and function on autopilot. Things that used to lift your mood don’t work anymore.
7. Changes in sex drive
One of the 10 signs of depression that is easiest to notice by your partner is an otherwise unexplainable change in your sex drive. You feel no desire and no interest, and your body doesn’t even respond to touch. It’s hard to enjoy sex when you’re lacking motivation, worrying about failure, and not feeling good enough.
8. Trouble concentrating
This is especially noticeable at work. You’ve become forgetful and miss deadlines. When you’re trying to complete a task, your mind drifts away somehow. You forget what you were reading about before you get to the end of the paragraph. It feels like you’ve lost your cognitive abilities and become dumb.
9. Persistent feelings of guilt and worthlessness
When depressed, it’s common to blame yourself for everything that goes wrong, even the things that are beyond your control, which is exactly the case with. It feels like we have let others down and become a burden, especially when they try to cheer us up with platitudes and advice like “why don’t you just get your sh*t together”.
10. Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempt
The pain of existence is so great that you would rather die than keep living like this. This is the most alarming of the 10 signs of depression. It may seem to you that everyone would be happier, and this world would be a better place without you. Most people just fantasize about death, but some actually attempt a suicide and succeed in it.
The moment I realized I had such thoughts, I knew the issue was pretty serious. No healthy mind wants to annihilate itself. That was the boost I needed to start seeking help. I wish I had done it earlier, but I believed I could cope myself. Until one day I just noticed I was on the edge of a cliff.
How many symptoms of depression do you think you have? If you have noticed some of these 10 signs of depression in your behavior and they persisted for the last two or three weeks, it’s definitely time to seek professional help. Don’t get me wrong, but, unless you’re Baron von Munchhausen, you are unlikely to pull yourself from the bog by your own hair (together with the horse, dear).
I can’t stress this enough.
There’s no shame in seeing a psychiatrist. Over 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression, and one in every four persons has some kind of mental health issue. You’re not alone. The sooner you start your depression treatment, the faster and more successful it will be.
If you want to know what you can do to boost your recovery in addition to taking medication, read about 6 steps to fight depression naturally here.
Stay strong and don’t give up. Life is worth it.