When going through the motions of life, it is quite usual to encounter up and downs. Life is certainly not linear. However, when you notice that you have prolonged periods of emotional distress that begin to eat up your work productivity and relationships in your personal life, it may be a sign of something more serious. Depression tends to take on different forms that are unique to different individuals. The many forms depending on age, cultural background, and other personal characteristics that are unique to every person. While the exact cause is unknown, some factors play a significant role. These factors include genetics, chemical imbalances in the brain, various kinds of trauma, or other medications that increase the risks. There are some common symptoms to look out for if you suspect you or a loved on is sinking into depression. Here are some of the signs to watch out for.
One of the hallmarks of depression is having a constant feeling of sadness. It is typical for anyone to experience sadness after significantly adverse life events. However, a tell-tale sign is when there is persistent sadness and despair all the time, even when no notably unfortunate event has happened in someone’s life. If you, a friend, or a family member is always in a bad mood. And they cannot simply put the finger on why; it could be a good thing to see a doctor and get a proper diagnosis because you could be suffering from depression.
Persistent feelings of worthlessness
Most people suffering from depression tend to exhibit feelings of worthlessness. They usually experience prolonged feelings of low self-esteem. The feelings of worthlessness could be general. They could also be in specific areas like school, work, or personal relationships. Again, it is pretty natural for people to have moments of anxiety and self-doubt. People will tend to experience intense and persistent feelings of worthlessness even when there aren’t any notable external factors contributing to it.
Changing sleeping patterns
Another common symptom of anxiety and depression is a significant change in one’s sleeping patterns. It can be that you are either sleeping more than usual or that you are finding it hard to stay awake during the day. It might present itself with persistent difficulty in sleeping or prolonged periods of insomnia. Other sleep issues linked with depression are having trouble falling asleep or even waking up earlier than usual. It is normal to have disrupted sleep patterns when experiencing traumatic events in your life. However, if the issue is prolonged, it could signify a deeper mental health issue. See, there is an undeniable link between mood and sleep. When you do not get enough deep sleep, it impacts the rest of the day. The tie between sleep and depression is such that sleep deprivation can lead to the condition. Depression, on the other hand, makes it more difficult to sleep!
Constant anger and irritability
Uncalled for anger and irritability is a commonplace hidden sign of depression. Mood changes tend to occur when people are depressed. Some people may not withdraw or appear to be sad. Instead, they exhibit overt anger and irritability. If you find yourself feeling constantly angry even when you have no solid reason for your anger, it could be a symptom of depression or anxiety. It is a common sign of depression, particularly among men. This behavior tends to hurt personal relationships and makes it even harder for depressed people to find help.
Withdrawing from loved ones
If you notice that you are isolating and distancing yourself from your family and friends, you could be depressed. People with depression are likely to withdraw from otherwise healthy relationships with their friends and family. They also find themselves struggling to make new connections. When you start to feel like a burden to your family and friends, or you feel like social interactions with valuable people in your life are becoming exhausting or somewhat overwhelming, you should try seeking help because you could be dealing with depression.
Another common symptom of anxiety and depression is feeling fatigued and being tired all the time. If you find that you are constantly fighting to get out of bed every day or struggling to do anything- even the bare minimum, like taking a shower, it could be a sign of depression. The feelings of constant exhaustion can either be in the form of physical or mental sensations. Generally, these feelings harm one’s work and life. There are other reasons for chronic fatigue e.g., having an autoimmune disease. To be sure that the fatigue is coming from a mental health issue, it is worth seeking the advice of a professional to rule out other problems and get help if you are suffering from depression.
It could also manifest in the form of changes in appetite. You may find yourself overeating or eating way less than you are used to. It is common for people experiencing depression to change their eating patterns. The changes in appetite could come alongside other symptoms like fatigue or restlessness. Appetite changes may lead to dramatic weight changes. The sudden weight changes could take a hit on someone’s body image and self-esteem, further exacerbating depression.
A lack of interest in hobbies
Some people might lose interest in some of the things they were initially deriving pleasure from. If activities that used to bring you joy are no longer exciting, it could be because you may be going through depression. Also, if you notice that someone close to you is going through this, try to help them find help.
Being in proper health does not just mean being in good physical health. Overall well-being involves having your mental health in good shape. The symptoms we have discussed above are some pointers to look out for when you suspect that you or a loved one is sinking into depression. It is, however, worth noting that you may experience some of these symptoms from time to time. That does not necessarily mean that you should immediately assume that it is the apparent culprit. The only way to be sure is to see a professional that is better suited in giving the correct diagnosis and help in treatment.
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