Am I depressed or just sad? Sometimes it’s not so easy to tell. If you show the top 5 signs of depression listed below for at least 2 weeks, it’s a warning sign that you may be suffering from it.
Those of you who tend to always manage everything by themselves perceive depression as weakness and feel too ashamed to admit that they might actually have a mental disorder. But negation of reality doesn’t solve the problem. Depression is a serious illness which in many cases leads to death.
Top 5 Signs Of Depression
1. Persistent sadness or feeling of inner void
While sadness is a normal reaction to loss, you should be concerned if it lasts too long, or if you feel sad for no apparent reason. People trying to cheer you up without understanding make you feel even more down. “Get a grip on yourself” is among the worst things one may tell a depressed person, so it’s understandable that you tend to avoid people or hide your sadness from the world… If you have loving family with no serious health issues and a successful professional life, and you feel guilty about being sad or ungrateful for it, the only logical explanation for persistent sadness is a depression episode.
2. Loss of interest in favorite activities
Among the top 5 signs of depression, this one is often perceived as the worst. Things you were passionate about don’t bring you joy anymore. If something lifted up your mood in the past, now it doesn’t work anymore. You constantly force yourself to do what you enjoyed once, hoping that one day you will feel that spark of joy once again. Functioning on autopilot makes you feel like a robot.
Zombieness leads to despair and loss of sense in life. Why continue, if nothing gives you pleasure and all you want is to be left in peace?
3. Dramatic change in sleeping patterns
Some people can’t find the motivation to get up in the morning. When one is feeling depressed, being awake and aware of everything is sometimes just too painful. Sleeping seems to be a great alternative, but you may feel like you never get enough of it. Constant oversleeping may be a warning sign of depression.
On the other hand, most depressed people have trouble falling asleep or wake up at dawn in spite of being tired. The consistent inability to get enough sleep, called insomnia, is one of the most common signs of depression. And one of the easiest to spot.
4. Change in eating habits and weight
As with sleeping, there are two different behaviors when it comes to food.
Lack of appetite is one of the top 5 signs of depression. Most patients lose lots of weight over a short period of time because they neglect the basic needs of their body. Eating doesn’t give pleasure when even supposedly delicious food feels tasteless.
Others completely lose control over the quality and amount of food they eat. Emotional eating is a way to cope with negative emotions, but works only for a moment. After a bucket of ice cream we are very likely to feel guilty and simply bad once the blood sugar drops.
Also, weight gain may be a sign of thyroid problems, which is linked to depression. A good psychiatrist should ask you to have your blood analysed.
5. Loss of self-esteem
Low self esteem has a double relation to depression. On one hand, feelings of inadequacy and fear of failure are the cause underlying many mental disorders because they make it hard to undertake and complete tasks. On another, depression takes poor self-esteem to its extreme. You don’t feel like you’re smart, pretty, or good enough. You are ashamed of your “weakness” and worried about what people will say, so you choose to avoid them whenever possible. You even feel like a burden to your family.
The top 5 signs of depression listed above are only a partial list of depression symptoms. If they match yours, you should consult a psychiatrist to find out.
Depressed people display a great variety of symptoms and sometimes two patients may not even have one in common, but also these symptoms may be shared with other mental illnesses.
Other signs of depression include:
- social withdrawal
- emotional overreaction
- otherwise unexplained physical pain
- overall irritability
- sensitivity to sounds
- self-loathe and feeling of guilt
- suicidal thoughts
If you are observing some of these symptoms in your behavior, consult a specialist. Depression is a treatable illness. The sooner you start treating it, the more successful you will be and the sooner you will get over it.
Life is beautiful, even if it sounds to you like a cruel joke right now. I know this feeling, but it will pass. It is not your fault that you are depressed. Start doing something about it, before it’s too late.
Take care of yourself!
PS. If you don’t know where to start from, read here about how to fight depression successfully. Once you get over the most painful symptoms of depression, you will see your illness as a source of personal growth and positive changes in your life.