Depression can be a frightening and debilitating experience. Many people who have depression may not even be aware of it. They may notice that something is “off” or not quite right, but they are not exactly sure what is wrong. Depression can show itself in many ways, meaning that people can experience it differently. Which signs of depression do you identify with?
Constant Feelings of Sadness
Typically, a person going through some type depression feels sad and dejected all the time, seemingly without a reason. Depression is more than feeling a little sad about a temporary situation, such as canceled plans with a friend. This type of sadness can be very intense and persistent; it can linger for weeks or months. Some people may feel like they need to cry all the time whereas others feel completely empty and numb.
Unexplained Irritability or Anger
Sometimes, perpetual feelings of sadness can lead to irritability in people suffering from depression. Others may altogether feel angrier and more irritable instead of feeling sad. They may lash out at others or become upset over something incredibly small. These types of outbursts can be particularly noticeable if an individual’s demeanor is typically calm and compassionate.
Inability to Enjoy Preferred Activities
Another widely accepted symptom of depression is anhedonia. This means that an individual no longer experiences pleasure during hobbies or activities that were once considered to be favorites. People who are experiencing anhedonia due to depression usually feel as though their preferred hobbies and interests have lost their luster. Anhedonia can affect people in various aspects of their lives, ranging from independent hobbies (ex. reading books) to social activities (ex. hanging out with friends).
Changes in Sleep and/or Diet
When someone’s mood is frequently fluctuating, this can affect other facets of his or her life. For instance, a person could develop irregular sleep patterns over time. This problem can range from insomnia (difficulty sleeping) to hypersomnia (sleeping too much). A person’s diet and weight can also be affected by depression. Some individuals may gain a considerable amount of weight whereas others may lose it. It’s possible this is because of an unintended change in diet or exercise. Some people report eating more when they are feeling depressed while others rarely have an appetite. It all depends on the person’s own experiences.
Hopelessness and Suicidal Ideation
Lastly, people suffering from depression may feel a sense of hopelessness, like nothing in their lives will get better. This can sometimes lead to thoughts of suicide or wanting to harm themselves. Although these emotions can feel extremely overwhelming, it is important to know that they are only temporary.
If you identify with any of the above symptoms and have been feeling this way for several weeks or months, you may have depression. It is essential for you to remember that you are not alone; you will get through this. Contact us today to learn how we can help.