Depression is a common mental illness that affects around 5% of adults. With over 280 million individuals suffering from this illness, it’s becoming imperative to learn what early signs and symptoms to watch out for. Feeling sad and being depressed isn’t the same thing.
This is why it is always important to consult a professional if you have had an unexplained change in mood or behavior. There are several common signs of depression that will help you know if you should seek help. Here’s what you need to know.
What is depression?
Depression is a serious medical illness that may directly and negatively affect your feelings, thoughts, and actions. It is generally thought that depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in your brain. While that certainly is part of the problem, it is not the whole picture.
The human brain and mind are exceedingly complicated, so it stands to reason that an illness that targets them would be equally complex. Many factors may lead to depression, including improper mood regulation, genetics, stress, etc.
The overwhelming number of factors related to depression means that it can look different for multiple individuals. It is not a “one size fits all” illness, which means your experience may be different from someone else’s, and not everyone experiences the same symptoms to the same severity.
That aside, there are many common signs of depression to look out for.
Are there signs of depression?
Catching depression early may help the effectiveness of management and treatment. If you’re wondering if you are experiencing any of the symptoms, here are some indications you may need to see a healthcare professional.
An Overwhelming Feeling of Hopelessness
One of the more common and better-known signs of depression is an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. If you’re regularly thinking about how life is terrible and will never get any better, you may be experiencing a common indicator of depression. This sign is often coupled with feelings of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and self-loathing.
Loss of Interest in Past Hobbies
Well-meaning friends typically tell those suffering from depression to try getting out more and doing the things they love. Unfortunately, depression often strips away the fun and interest you once had in certain hobbies and activities. Another way this symptom may manifest is by lowering your sex drive or causing impotence.
Exhaustion and Insomnia
Depression operates as a double-edged sword in that it often causes fatigue and exhaustion while simultaneously hindering your ability to sleep. This results in a general lack of energy and the inability to feel rested, no matter how much time you spend trying.
This downward cycle may greatly affect your cognitive function, making it crucial to seek help immediately.
Another common sign of depression is a change in appetite. This may happen in two ways. Some individuals will have a drastic increase in appetite, causing them to turn to food as a source of comfort. Others may experience a severe loss of appetite, resulting in weight loss.
Depression isn’t just an intense feeling of sadness. It affects a wide range of your emotions and can make them extremely difficult to control. It’s common for those suffering from depression to experience sudden outbursts of anger or uncontrollable sobbing. If you are experiencing sudden dramatic changes in your mood, you may need to consult with a professional about whether or not you are suffering from depression.
Thoughts of Death
Depression is often linked to suicide or thoughts of death. In fact, the rate of death by suicide is twice as high among patients who have been treated for depression. It is estimated that around 60% of individuals who take their own life have had a mood disorder, including depression.
If you or someone you know are experiencing thoughts of suicide, please seek immediate help from a suicide prevention hotline such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255
Should I seek help for my depression?
While depression has a wide range of symptoms and severity, it can worsen over time if left untreated. It’s easy to tell yourself you’ll manage on your own, but depression is one battle you should never have to fight by yourself.
As a general rule, if you experience any of the above symptoms for a period longer than two weeks, you should consider reaching out to a qualified healthcare professional for help determining whether or not you require treatment.
However, you should always be proactive and protect yourself. If you are concerned about your symptoms or find yourself in danger of hurting yourself, it’s always better to seek help right away.
One way to seek help quickly is to use UBERDOC. You can choose from a wide selection of qualified healthcare professionals near you. Simply set up a day and time, pay online, and experience a virtual health appointment. Schedule an appointment today for help diagnosing and treating your depression.
Fast Access to Healthcare Professionals
UBERDOC allows you to get the care you need in an easy and affordable way. We offer both in-person and telemedicine appointments, ensuring that you have access to the healthcare you need no matter how busy or restrictive your day is. To find out more about our services and how UBERDOC can help you, contact us today!