Today, I'm going to give you 9 depression symptoms and warning signs that you should know. Feeling sad and feeling a little down are emotions that we all experience occasionally. But when this sadness and this grief become long-lasting and start to affect your everyday life, it could be an indication that you have depression.
Depression is the most common mental health condition seen by primary care physicians. Yet due to the stigma, many people who are feeling symptoms of depression don't seek the help that they need. And untreated depression can lead to a multitude of problems. It can literally be life or death.
Have you ever dealt with symptoms of depression? Please comment down below and share with us the tools that you have used for coping.
9 Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs
1. Sleep Disturbance
Having a change in your sleeping patterns can be a warning sign of depression. Now, this can be insomnia, where you're not able to fall asleep, or you're not able to stay asleep for long periods of time, or it can be hypersomnia, where you're sleeping for long hours, many more hours than you normally do.
2. Change of Appetite
A change of appetite leading to unintentional weight gain or unintentional weight loss can also be a warning sign of depression. You may find yourself eating in excess, trying to comfort yourself for feeling depressed. Or you may find that you have no appetite at all. Either way, a change of appetite can be a warning sign of depression.
3. Loss of Interest
If you or a loved one is experiencing a loss of interest in things that you normally liked to do, things that normally gave you pleasure all of a sudden you have no interest, well, it could be a warning sign of depression. For example, if you are someone who loves sports, you live for watching sports, but all of a sudden sports don't make you happy. Or if you're a person who loves to dance, play the guitar, or if you like to play piano, or if you're a painter, and all of a sudden these things just give you no pleasure at all, then this loss of interest, and this inability to find joy in things that normally gave you joy could be a warning sign of depression.
And for parents, you really want to make sure that you pay attention to your children, especially your teenagers because if they all of a sudden have lost interest in things that normally gave them joy, it could be a warning sign of depression in them. Also, look at a change in teenage habits. If they have a certain group of friends who have common interests, but all of a sudden they get a totally different group of friends, and it really doesn't seem to make sense to you, pay attention. It could be a warning sign of depression.
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4. Irritability or Unwarranted Emotional Outbursts
People who are depressed tend to be very irritable. Things that seem minimal that normally would not have bothered them, things that would not have gotten on their nerves, will all of a sudden make them very bothered, very irritable, and it can lead to unwarranted emotional outbursts. They can develop anger management issues where things that you think typically would not upset them, all of a sudden have them screaming or lashing out. Angry outbursts. And it can also be emotional in other ways. They could cry more easily. Things that you normally think would not upset them or lead them to tears can cause them to cry. They can become much more emotional in a way that doesn't always seem warranted based on that person's baseline. So if you or a loved one is experiencing irritability and unwarranted emotional outbursts, it could be a sign of depression.
Anxiety can be a sign of depression. Be sure to watch my YouTube video on five types of anxiety disorders.
6. Lack of Focus or Difficulty Concentrating
If you find that you are having difficulty concentrating, not able to complete tasks at work or tasks at school the way you normally would have, or maybe you're seeing this in a loved one, this too could be a symptom of depression. Also, if you find yourself being more forgetful, not being able to remember or concentrate on things that are important, it could be a symptom of depression.
7. Substance Abuse
If you find yourself drinking more alcohol than normal, drinking excessively, or doing drugs, and you're basically trying to numb emotional pain, this also can be a warning sign of depression.
8. Poor Hygiene
Poor hygiene can certainly be a sign of depression. If you know of a loved one who normally has pristine hygiene, hair's always combed, teeth brushed, they always smell fresh, clothes neat in a certain way, if all of a sudden they're disheveled, not wanting to shower, and they don't care about their appearance, this can be a symptom or warning sign of depression.
9. Preoccupation with Being Victimized, or a Preoccupation with One's Own Mortality
If you have a loved one who is constantly talking about being victimized, no matter what the scenario, they're always the victim, people are after them, people are trying to hurt them. They're always on the bottom of the totem pole, or woe is me. If you're noticing more and more of that in your friend or your loved one's behavior, it could certainly be a warning sign of depression.
Or if you have a friend or a loved one who is developing a preoccupation with his or her own mortality or death, if they're saying things like, "This world would be a better place if I weren't here," or, "You guys are going to miss me when I'm gone," or if they're constantly talking about death or life without them in it, then this could be a major warning sign of depression.
These are just some of the many warning signs of depression. If you are experiencing any of these depression symptoms and warning signs or if you have a friend or loved one who's experiencing them, please, please reach out to your doctor, or call a counselor or a psychiatrist if you already have one. If you feel like you are in crisis, and certainly, if you are contemplating harming yourself or taking your own life, please be sure to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
I hope this information has been helpful to you. Meanwhile, please do your best to live your healthiest, happiest life.