If you think you may be depressed or are worried about someone else who may be depressed, there are depression symptoms you can look for. It’s important to be aware of depression symptoms so you can help yourself or others in a timely manner. Keep in mind that some symptoms of depression can be the result of a difficult or stressful situation or an illness and overlapping symptoms are not uncommon. A doctor should give a proper and final diagnosis.
Symptom 1 – Loss of Interest in Normal Activities or Connections
If you find yourself feeling uninterested in activities you once found enjoyable or have lost interest in daily connections with people or things, you might be suffering from depression. Although it’s not unusual to get worn out or for your interests to change, it’s not healthy to find yourself avoiding people or avoiding doing things for a long period of time. With depression there is a feeling of isolation or just simply not caring about staying connected. Also, if you notice this behavior in a friend or family member, it’s worth approaching.
Symptom 2 –Loss of Appetite or Over Eating
If you find that your relationship with food is changing and it’s not temporary or due to illness, the cause may be depression. This is particularly true if there are other symptoms of depression as well.
Symptom 3 – Obvious Mood Changes
Clinical depression can alter your normal moods on a consistent basis. For instance, if you find yourself feeling sad a lot of the time or crying over things you wouldn’t normally cry about, it could be depression. Or, if you notice that you are feeling irritable most of the time over things that wouldn’t normally irritate you, it might be related to depression. You might also be feeling hopeless or just have an empty feeling inside that won’t go away. You might also start to feel guilty or negative over the sadness and irritability which can actually snowball the effects of depression.
Symptom 4 – Consistent Change in Sleep Patterns
If you find yourself sleeping more and still feeling a general tiredness or just not wanting to get out of bed, that could be a symptom of depression. Likewise, if you find that sleep is eluding you and you are waking consistently at odd hours (e.g. the middle of the night or very early in the morning), that may also be a symptom of depression.
Symptom 5 – Inability to Focus or Concentrate
Another symptom of depression is a change in your ability to focus or concentrate. You may lose things easily or seem unable to finish activities. You may forget to follow through on commitments or appointments. It may feel difficult to participate in conversation.
If you are experiencing severe symptoms or have feelings or thoughts of suicide, it’s vital to get help right away. There are many types of depression as well as levels of severity. No matter what, if you are having trouble functioning at a level that is normal for you, there are solutions. The first step is to seek out assistance from your doctor or therapist.