We often hear the word depressed to describe most negative emotions; you could have had a bad week at work or are going through a break-up. Is it really depression that you are suffering from, or are you just unhappy at the moment? Depression is a complicated mental health illness that is suffered in different ways by everyone.
So how do we know if we are experiencing depression, or just the sadness that we all go through at some points in life?
Knowing the warning signs of depression and identifying them in yourself or in others is the first step on the road to recovery. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of; if you read through these common symptoms and identify with them, then reach out and seek help.
Online therapy is a convenient and effective alternative to the traditional routes of mental health treatment; it brings the therapist to you and is often much cheaper. Some platforms can even be covered by insurance, lightening the blow further.
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Depression affects your mood and results in a generally negative view on life in general. This is possibly the most common symptom of depression; feeling that everything is hopeless and worthless.
This can also manifest itself into self-hate and guilt. If you find yourself constantly asking yourself “what is the point?” or telling yourself that “it’s all my fault”, then you could be experiencing depression.
Lack of Motivation
People with depression often struggle to find energy and motivation, so much so that it can be difficult to do daily tasks like taking a shower, brushing your teeth or simply getting out of bed.
Often, you don’t even want to do the things that you usually love and enjoy; depression can take any pleasure you once got from these activities away. Withdrawing from your usual activities and losing interest in things is a tell-tale sign of depression.
Changes in Appetite
Symptoms of depression can overlap and affect one another, as is the case with changes in appetite. With a lack of interest and motivation for life comes the inability to cook and feed yourself properly, if you cannot get out of bed, you cannot eat. While some people experience the inability to eat, others find that the amount of food they eat increases. Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness can cause a person to overeat instead.
The person uses emotional eating as a way of soothing their emotions rather than actually being hungry. Whichever way you experience a change in appetite, it can have other physical consequences on your health, so you must seek help if you relate with either of these symptoms.
Fatigue and Sleeping Problems
One of the reasons you lose interest in the things you love and experience a lack of appetite could be because you constantly feel tired and exhausted. An overwhelming feeling of fatigue is often a symptom of depression that can lead to excessive sleeping.
People with depression can end up sleeping a lot during the day as they have no motivation or interest in doing anything else, bringing you back to that feeling of “What is the point?” Excessive sleeping during the day can then lead to insomnia, which creates a vicious cycle that is hard to escape from.
The relationship between sleep and depression is complicated and different for everyone; being aware of your sleeping cycles is a step in the right direction.
Depression can manifest in different ways, and everyone’s experience with the mental illness is completely unique. In some people, depression manifests itself through uncontrollable sadness and crying; in others, feelings of anger and frustration lead to emotional outbursts.
A lot of people with depression experience a huge range of intense emotions and have regularmood swings. Such outbursts and unpredictability are not only exhausting and tiring for the sufferer, which can lead to excessive sleeping, fatigue and a lack of motivation, but they can also put a lot of strain on their relationships and loved ones too.Noticing these symptoms in a loved one could be a sign that they need help.
Interest in Death
Suicide is often connected with depression, and people that die from suicide often show a combination of these symptoms first.
People suffering from depression may talk about ending their life, and if you hear or suspect someone you know may be considering this as an option, you need to seek help immediately. If you notice yourself thinking about death and ending your life, you too should seek out help.
Depression can affect everyone and anyone, no matter your age, gender or race. Even those that are seemingly happy and successful may be suffering in silence. If you are experiencing these symptoms or think that someone else might be, talk to someone and seek help.