It is normal for us all to feel down at times and even go through seasons of sadness, like when going through a breakup. However, those suffering from major depressive disorder find their heavy-hearted feelings won’t go away. Let’s take a look at eight early signs of depression.
When dealing with depression, the symptoms vary greatly from person to person. However, feeling hopeless is the most commonly reported symptom of early depression. This hopelessness often makes you feel like your life is falling apart and the future looks bleak. Feeling hopeless often is accompanied by feeling like you are worthless
Along with feeling hopeless, negative self-talk is often prevalent in those dealing with depression. This looks like a critical inner dialogue where you put yourself down. It could be things like “How could you do such a thing?” or “What is the point of this?”. A study was done that shows the potential harm that negative self-talk does to your brain.
Loss of Interest
Another symptom of depression is when activities you once loved no longer interest you. Withdrawing from activities such as time with friends and family, hobbies, and sports is a sign that you may be suffering from depression. It is also common for people with depression to also lose interest in sex.
Sometimes, you feel hopeless and apathetic towards activities because you might be excessively tired. Feeling depressed often goes hand-in-hand with feeling tired all of the time. Another warning sign of depression is when you can’t sleep at all and deal with bouts of insomnia accompanied by feeling down. You may also experience a lack of energy that keeps you on your couch or in bed for long periods.
In the United States, nearly 30% of adults suffer from anxiety at some point in their lives. While anxiety is a high-energy state and depression is a low-energy one, they are often closely linked. Many times a person becomes anxious over matters that do not worry or upset people normally. When this happens, they may become depressed over their lack of control.
Those who suffer from anxiety have a much higher risk of becoming depressed at some point. Feeling anxious also affects the ability to get a good night’s sleep.
Changes in Appetite and Weight
Evidence suggests that those struggling with depression may also experience changes in their appetite and weight. For some, this could look like overeating and gaining weight, while others may lose their appetite and lose weight. If one is not purposefully making dietary changes, these physical symptoms may indicate depression.
Alcohol and/or Drug Use
A person who feels lonely, sad, or hopeless may reach for alcohol or drugs to cope with their intense feelings. While this may make them feel better for a moment, it often turns into dangerous substance abuse. Those who struggle with mood disorders like depression are more likely to struggle with drugs and alcohol.
Anger and Irritability
It isn’t uncommon for people who deal with depression to try and hide it from those around them. Many times this can cause a change in personality. For example, someone who is normally calm may appear angry or irritable for periods of time. Another common symptom of depression includes rapid mood swings. This may look like crying one minute and an outburst of anger the next.
If you or a loved one are dealing with depression, you may want to consider seeking out help from a mental health professional. While this seems like a huge step, they are trained to help those dealing with debilitating feelings.
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