Mental health conditions like depression are tricky to identify under the best of circumstances, as symptoms can vary and the effects accumulate over time. That said, given that depression affects more than 21 million Americans, we have a good understanding of the many ways this mood regulation disorder can manifest itself.
To help you figure out whether you or a loved one is struggling with depression, our team here at Complete Neurological Care outlines six possible symptoms that may signal a need for help.
Everyone experiences sadness from time to time. The grief can last minutes, days, weeks, and even months. The sadness that comes with depression is a different beast because it overwhelms you and is disproportionate to what’s going on around you.
This sadness is also difficult to shake, and things that would normally put a smile on your face, even for just a moment, simply don’t work.
Hopelessness and doom
What really makes depression difficult to deal with is that not only can you experience the overwhelming sadness, it’s often accompanied by an utter lack of hope. This means you’re not only sad, but you have little hope of ever being anything but sad.
As a result, any optimism about life you may have had is replaced by hopelessness and doom.
Many people with depression suffer from fatigue and lack of energy. This fatigue goes beyond feeling tired, as it can make even the smallest task seem insurmountable, and you don’t feel like you have the energy.
Lack of interest
The sadness, hopelessness, and fatigue can all conspire together to leave you with a lack of interest in life. You lose interest in the activities you once enjoyed, including socializing with friends, hobbies, sex, and anything else that from which you once derived pleasure.
Changes in your sleep and appetite patterns
People with depression often have sleep issues, which can swing in both directions. Some people with depression sleep far more than usual, while others encounter insomnia.
In addition to changes in sleep, depression can affect your appetite. Here again, the issue can go both ways — you eat more than usual or less than usual — and you experience weight gain or weight loss.
Many people with depression also experience physical symptoms, such as headaches, body aches, and gastrointestinal issues.
If you recognize one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment to come see us. Mental health issues like depression don’t usually go away on their own. In fact, they can get worse and lead to severe, and irreversible, consequences like suicide.
For expert and compassionate diagnosis and treatment of depression, please contact one of our offices in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, or Margate, Florida, to schedule a consultation.