Top 10 Signs of Depression
Those who have never experienced depression might believe that you will always know that you are depressed. Those currently experiencing depression, however, know that depression can sneak up on you and you might find yourself in its midst, without even realizing why you feel the way you do. Knowing the signs of depression can help you identify this condition and seek help as soon as possible. Here are the most common ten signs of depression.
1. Physical pain
While we usually consider depression to be a mental ailment, it has physical side effects too. Headaches, back pain, fatigue and neck pain are all associated with depression. If you have been experiencing these types of aches and pains and cannot identify their cause, depression might be a contributing factor. Studies have shown that about seventy-five percent of people who experience depression also suffer from chronic pain.
2. You’re gaining weight.
Overeating and under-exercising are two very common signs of depression. You might not even realize this is happening until you have gained a significant amount of weight. Many people will start to use food to soothe negative feelings, as certain types of food can trigger the brain to release positive chemicals, even though the foods themselves are actually really bad for the body. Even though depression actually reduces most people’s appetite for food, it can still drive you to eat poorly.
3. It’s very easy to make you grouchy.
While you might not see depression and anger as being connected, many people who are experiencing depression will also see their other emotions heightened. It will become very easy, for example, for someone to push you over the edge and make you angry. You don’t just feel listless or sad, you also feel frustrated and foul tempered. It can be very easy to become hostile, even about something small.
4. You don’t feel anything at all.
When most people think of depression, they think of an overwhelming sadness, and while that can be part of the equation, many people simply feel nothing at all. They don’t have motivation to do anything, even things that they previously loved to do. They don’t want to socialize, don’t want to exercise and don’t even want to get out of bed. And while they might not feel particularly sad, they just feel completely void of any emotion.
5. You are constantly distracting yourself.
You’re completely glued to your computer or to your television. You do not want to just sit and be alone with yourself for any space of time. You might feel compelled to just go online and surf, without any real purpose or point. Many people who feel depressed will try to escape into a virtual world. They might even seek out online companionship, even if they feel they cannot handle human companionship in the real world. There is also a very real link between addiction and depression, so if you start to see yourself becoming addicted to distractions or substances, like alcohol for example, this could be a sign of depression.
6. Making decisions is extremely difficult.
This doesn’t just mean that you have difficulty making the big decisions that anyone would have difficulty making. It means that even the small decisions, like what to eat for breakfast or what to do in your spare time become such huge, imposing, and impossible decisions that you might simply avoid making them. Things that most people decide without thinking twice suddenly become huge.
7. You’ve stopped taking care of yourself.
Personal hygiene and depression are linked. One of the most common signs of depression is that you simply stop taking care of yourself. You don’t brush your hair or teeth, you don’t eat properly, you don’t shower unless you absolutely have to, you might not even change your clothes if you don’t have to. Not caring about your outward appearance at all often means that there are serious problems going on inside.
8. It’s difficult to sleep.
Not being able to sleep can contribute to depression and being depressed can make it difficult to sleep. While it might be all you actually want to do when you are depressed, you might find that you spend most of your nights just staring at your ceiling. You might sleep only a little bit at night and find yourself instead sleeping during the day, often to avoid the very necessary daily tasks you need to do.
9. It is difficult to concentrate.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot concentrate on what you need to concentrate on. You might be distracted by negative thoughts or you might just find that no matter how hard you try, you cannot get your brain to focus. Depression can make it difficult to concentrate on things big and small, making it impossible for you to actually do what you need to do, no matter how hard you try. You don’t necessarily have to be distracted by anything in particular. Your brain is just not working properly.
10. You are feeling anxious.
You find yourself not just worrying about things that can happen, but things that probably would never happen. You find that you are extremely anxious, so much so that sometimes you just hide in your home and avoid doing the things you need or want to do because you would have to interact with people or do something about which you are feeling anxious. Anxiety and depression are connected, so if you are noticing this feeling in your life more and more, it is a sign that you might be depressed.
These signs of depression can make life feel unmanageable and that feeling is very real to the person who feels depressed. Depression can also influence people to commit suicide and suicide is permanent. If you are feeling so depressed you want to commit suicide or if, as a reader, you know someone who fantasizes about suicide, seek help immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24/7 free service to help people in crisis and their number is 1-800-273-8255.
If you are not in crisis and would like support in coping through your depression, contact Cope Better Therapy Services and start the journey towards feeling better.