More than just the Blues: Signs that I have a problem with depression
Depression is one of the most common illnesses in the world, but it’s also one of the most stigmatized and misrepresented. Depression is more than just the feeling of sadness or the blues.
Approximately 17 million adults and two million children in America are currently diagnosed with depression and it is the leading cause of disability in the world. Sadly, despite these large numbers, two-thirds of those who suffer from this silent killer do not seek or aren’t given the proper treatment.
A lot of people associate depression with just one thing: sadness. In reality, though, there are a number of things that can be a sign of a more serious deeply depressive state:
Hopelessness or despair
More than just a feeling of sadness, this is a sense that nothing will get better.
Loss of interest in daily activity
Simple routine things such as showering or things that normally bring pleasure like hobbies or sex will begin to feel like too much effort.
Significant weight loss or gain
For some, depression causes a lack of appetite, while others turn to food for comfort. A sudden change in either direction of more than 5% is a sign that there may be a problem.
Just like weight changes, sleep patterns can shift in either way with depression. Some feel like sleeping all the time while others will suffer from horrible insomnia.
Anger and irritability
Depression often brings a feeling that everything will annoy as well as anger at those around for seemingly innocuous reasons.
Loss of energy
Depression will often cause a feeling of fatigue despite getting a proper amount of rest.
Feeling not good enough will often accompany a depressive state.
A new desire to participate in potentially dangerous activities can be a big warning sign.
The feeling of being unable to focus on the simplest of thoughts and tasks is something that can accompany depression.
Unexplained aches and pains
Regular headaches, back pains, and stomach issues are just some of the physical issues one might feel when depressed.
If you are experiencing any number of these signs, a good first step is speaking to your primary care physician or calling a depression helpline, such as The Samaritans at (877) 870- HOPE (4673). With the proper plan of action in place, depression is treatable. The key is not being afraid to seek help, having patience with treatment, and realizing you are never alone.