Everyone goes through stressful and sad moments in life. However, when these unpleasant emotions simply won’t improve and become so bad that to the point that they start disrupting your life and relationships, you might have depression.
Depression is more than just feeling sad or disappointed over the challenges life throws at you. It can affect how you think and perform daily activities. It can alter your outlook in life and make simply getting through the day seem difficult and overwhelming. Most patients who have been officially diagnosed with depression often feel like they’re stuck in a black hole: empty and lifeless, like tomorrow holds nothing good for them.
While the only way to properly and accurately diagnose depression is to consult a professional, there are some telltale signs that you can check for. These signs can help you determine when it’s time to take a step and seek help for yourself or a loved one.
Top 10 Warning Signs That a Person Has Depression
The triggers, symptoms, and severity of depression vary from one person to another. However, there are general symptoms that are often commonly experienced by patients. These symptoms include the following:
- Feeling hopeless and helpless.
Do you constantly feel as though all hope has abandoned you and that yours is a helpless case? Depressed people often feel that nobody can help them, not even themselves. As a result, they tend to resist talking about their problems with others.
- Easily annoyed or angered.
People with depression are not always sad. They may also feel irritable. They easily get agitated. Sometimes, they also react violently toward others, especially when caught in a conflict. Individuals with depression may have a low tolerance level, so everyone and everything easily gets on their nerves.
- Lack of interest in common activities.
It is common for people suffering from depression to lose interest performing day-to-day activities. This is why some of them tend to perform poorly at work or school. This lack of interest may also manifest as indifference toward people and social events. As a result, relationships are strained as the other parties feel neglected or unwanted. Furthermore, when you are depressed, you lack the ability to enjoy doing things that used to make you happy.
- Changes in sleeping patterns.
Some patients with depression may also exhibit varying sleeping patterns. One may have trouble sleeping. Some wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time going back to sleep. Meanwhile, there are patients who tend to oversleep.
- Fluctuating weight and appetite.
Individuals suffering from depression are prone to experiencing drastic weight changes. They can lose or gain weight significantly within a short period. This is often a result of fluctuating appetite. At times, you may turn to eating to distract yourself from self from your problems and sadness, while there are times when you won’t have the appetite at all.
- Lack of energy and easily tired.
Depression sufferers can easily get tired and fatigued, making them sluggish. When depression hits, a person may feel physically drained, as if their body is very heavy. This makes doing and completing even the simplest of tasks difficult and exhausting.
Individuals who try to hide their depression and escape their emotions may turn to substance and alcohol abuse. They also tend to participate in impulsive and reckless activities, such as gambling and extreme sports. Depression sufferers may also find themselves going on impulsive shopping sprees. These activities give them a temporary high, allowing them to feel enjoyment for a while.
- Hating oneself.
People who go through depression often have strong feelings of guilt and self-loathing. They criticize themselves and believe that they are worthless. They tend to think that everything bad that happens is their fault.
- Unexplained body pains.
Headaches and muscle pains that do not have a clear cause may be physical manifestations of depression.
- Difficulty concentrating.
It is common for people with depression to find it difficult to concentrate. They may also have trouble remembering things and making objective decisions.
If you or a loved one experiences most or all of the symptoms above for a considerably prolonged period, do not hesitate to consult a mental health professional. Remember that the longer you put off seeking help, the longer that these symptoms will keep you from living a happier and healthier life.