Depression is a mental condition that affects over 5% of Canadians aged 15 and older. If you find that you have more than just the occasional blues, you should seek help. This post will help you determine if you have this mood disorder.
Here are 9 most common symptoms of depression:
1. Feeling down or depressed
2. Other negative emotions
3. Losing interest in activities
4. Risky behavior
5. Fatigue or low energy
6. Sudden weight change or change in appetite
7. Disrupted sleep
8. Difficulty in decision-making or concentrating
9. Suicidal thoughts
The symptoms will vary uniquely with each individual. If you are experiencing one or a combination of these symptoms and healthy lifestyle choices are not alleviating them, you should see a physician who can assess your condition.
1. Feeling Down or Depressed
This is the first and most obvious symptom of depression. If you are feeling down and you can’t seem to shake the mood, there can be something deeper going on.
Depression can be short-term or ongoing and it has many triggers. For example, Postpartum Depression can be triggered by hormonal changes and usually has an end point. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) fades when winter ends. Major Depression is ongoing regardless of what circumstance you find yourself in and has more intense symptoms.
No matter what kind of depression you have, it needs to be addressed and treated. There are many different types of treatment, it includes appropriate counseling, therapy, and if needed, prescription antidepressant medication.
2. Other Negative Emotions
Depression is not just about feeling blue. Other negative emotions can become attached to the condition like feeling guilty, hopeless, helpless, irritable, pessimistic, or worthless. These negative emotions can quickly spiral downward to result in fractured interpersonal relationships, self-harm, and social withdrawal.
Feeling guilty or helpless can lead you to think that you are a bad person or that you must have done something wrong to feel this way. It is important to get connected with a therapist to express these feelings in order to uncover the truth- that these feelings are not your fault and you can overcome them with treatment.
3. Losing Interest in Activities
If you find yourself withdrawing from an activity that you were known to love, like a sport, club, or hobby, this can be one warning sign of depression. Depressed individuals often catch loved ones off-guard by suddenly snubbing activities they used to enjoy.
The feelings of sadness can make a person battling depression withdraw from social events or activities they used to like because nothing brings them pleasure anymore.
4. Risky Behaviour
Other behavioral changes can also be caused by depression, like participating in extreme or risky behavior without regard for your own welfare. Depression often leads to low self-esteem, which leads people to believe they are expendable enough to participate in dangerous or extreme activities.
5. Fatigue or Low Energy
Depression not only affects your mood, but it can affect your body as well. Feeling low on energy or an ongoing fatigue can be a side-effect from a mood disorder. Our mind and body are deeply connected, so treating the source of the depression will help alleviate the fatigue associated with it.
6. Sudden Weight Change or Change in Appetite
If you are experiencing depression, you may become an emotional binge eater or you may find eating to be a complete chore. This leads to depressed individuals either gaining or losing a noticeable amount of weight.
Those who have atypical depression usually gain weight while people with short-term depression typically experience a loss of appetite and weight loss.
7. Disrupted Sleep
Sleep may also become interrupted while you have depression, giving you a condition called insomnia- or sleeplessness. Consequently, sleep deprivation exacerbates the symptoms of depression, so getting the right amount of sleep needs to be addressed as a part of treatment.
Someone who is depressed can also develop hypersomnia from feeling lethargic, sleeping most of the day and being unwilling to participate in normal activities.
8. Difficulty in Decision-Making or Concentrating
Depression can make it difficult to concentrate on tasks or make even simple decisions. Your head may feel foggy and you might feel unmotivated in making choices. This lapse in concentration also can affect your short-term memory, making you forgetful and unfocused.
9. Suicidal Thoughts
Those experiencing recurring thoughts of hopelessness, sadness, and disinterest in life may sometimes consider suicide. Because the symptoms of depression can be both painful physically and mentally, the person with this disease may see death as the only way to escape.
It is important to get help right away if you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Do you have depression?
Depression is a treatable and reversible condition with the correct therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and prescriptionanti-depressantt medication. If you find that you are experiencing one or a combination of these common symptoms of depression, do not hesitate to contact your physician.
Come On In
After a thorough consultation, your doctor can ascertain whether you are having a simple case of the blues or if you need to get treatment for depression. At Sullivan Heights Medical Clinic our doctors are happy to talk with you about mental health. Come on in today and start feeling better!