7 Signs of Depression That Should Never Be Ignored

DISCLAIMER : THIS ARTICLE IS PURELY FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS NOT INTENDED AS MEDICAL ADVICE OR A DIAGNOSIS. PLEASE SPEAK TO A PROFESSIONAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ABOUT ANY TREATMENT FOR ANY DIAGNOSIS YOU MAY HAVE.

Feeling sad or down once in a while is a normal part of life’s challenging experiences. It can happen for many reasons like losing a loved one, a job or a breakup. It’s not something we enjoy but it happens and eventually over time, we come to terms with it. 

Depression, or clinical depression or major depressive disorder as doctors refer to it, is different. The feelings that come with being depressed are so intense and overwhelming that the person suffering from it finds it hard to get help. 

There’s no pattern to depression and the causes and conditions of it vary but many people experience similar symptoms. It isn’t easy to spot in yourself or in a loved one so here are a few clues that determine if someone might be in need of treatment for depression. 

  1. Change In Sleeps Patterns

Sleep patterns and habits are affected by depression because of brain chemical imbalances. The physical and mental exhaustion affects your sleep with you, maybe sleeping the whole day or sleeping instead of doing daily activities, for example. 

It can also manifest in insomnia bouts. As Sarah Altman, PhD, clinical psychologist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus stated, a person may often lie awake at night, because of the increased anxiety levels that lead to more distress from the lack of sleep. 

  1. Difficulty With Thinking & Concentration

When you’re struggling with depression, your brain becomes foggy and you may struggle with remembering things in your short-term memory. You struggle with making simple decisions and question yourself a lot about it. 

Another thing you might struggle with is obsessing over small mistakes and blaming yourself for things that are beyond your control. Doing daily tasks might also be confusing and hard to complete and are left undone or half done. 

  1. Loss Of Interest In Life

If you notice that you or someone you know is losing interest in their hobbies, schoolwork, social activities or life in general, they might be suffering from depression and they may have started isolating themselves from friends, family and others who care about them. 

For someone struggling with depression, the enjoyment has been taken out of all of the things that they love and it makes it difficult to connect with people they are close to and the things they enjoy and they tend to avoid all of these things because they can’t muster the energy. 

  1. Change In Appetite

With depression, your appetite changes and is either increased or decreased, depending on the severity of it. Sleep helps us to regulate our hunger hormones and keep us from either over or under eating. When it’s disturbed, it’s evident in our appetite. 

In the case of severe depression, however, John Whyte, MD, MPH, a board certified internist in Washington, DC, stated that “a depressed person may stop eating because she or he is no longer concerned with their physical well-being.” Normal hygiene practices are also neglected, like showering or brushing your teeth. 

  1. Feeling Down For A Long Time

Sufferers of depression reported feelings of sadness, emptiness and hopelessness. While these are normal human emotions, they reported prolonged feelings that went on for longer than 2 weeks. When the symptoms are happening more often and for long periods of time, this might be a sign of depression that needs to be addressed. 

They may also experience emotional outbursts and mood swings. Feeling Irritable and frustrated about small things, anxiety and restlessness and impatience also accompany these feelings and changes in behaviour. 

  1. Experiencing Physical Symptoms

One of the uncommon effects of depression is experiencing physical pain. We might experience discomfort and try to explain it away with too much stress, poor sleep and unhealthy eating habits.

As a result of the mind and body being connected, depression will manifest itself in persistent back pain, digestive problems, headaches, diarrhea and other unexplained pain according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

  1. Talking About Suicide

An unfortunate fact of depression is that some sufferers don’t win the battle. They have a dark side that starts to emerge that’s preoccupied with death and other darker topics. According to Nancy DeAngelis, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and Abington Hospital’s Behavioural Health Services director, “if you think about suicide frequently or how the world would be better off without you, this is a sign of depression that needs to be addressed immediately. ” 

A person who is resolute on committing suicide is more likely to engage in and take uncalculated risks, such as risky sexual behaviour, gambling, substance abuse and overspending. 

FINAL THOUGHTS 

If you start to notice these symptoms more often in your daily life, please seek treatment as soon as you can, if it’s available to you. A combination of medication and counseling can be helpful in treating you. Don’t be afraid to also reach out to trusted loved ones and depression hotlines in your country. Depression warrants concern about you and/or someone you love. Having depression is nothing to ignore or feel guilty about. You are not okay and that’s okay but you don’t have to stay in that unhealthy state. I hope you found this article helpful. 

See you soon. 

REFERENCES 

*Are you depressed? 5 warning signs you shouldn’t ignore. Abington. (2017, June 1). Retrieved January 15, 2022, from https://www.abingtonhealth.org/healthy-living/health-news/library/articles-related-to-general-health/are-you-depressed-5-warning-signs-you-shouldnt-ignore/ 

*Association of America , A. and D. (2017). Depression: Anxiety and depression association of america, ADAA. Depression | Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA. Retrieved January 15, 2022, from https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/depression  

*Bowers, E. S. (2021, January 18). Depression symptoms you shouldn’t ignore. EverydayHealth.com. Retrieved January 15, 2022, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/depression/symptoms/depression-symptoms-you-shouldnt-ignore/ 

*5 signs of Depression you shouldn’t ignore. 5 Signs of Depression You Shouldn’t Ignore: SunSouth Medical Center: Primary Care Practice. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2022, from https://www.sunsouthmed.com/blog/5-signs-of-depression-you-shouldnt-ignore 

*5 signs of Depression you shouldn’t ignore. Health & Wellness Services. (2021, September 14). Retrieved January 15, 2022, from https://www.colorado.edu/health/5-signs-depression-you-shouldnt-ignore 

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