Feeling sad from time to time is a natural human response to difficult circumstances. However, when feelings of sadness and hopelessness last for weeks or months at a time without relief, it may indicate that the person has depression.
But how do you know you know if you are depressed and not just feeling a little down in the dumps? Depression can take many forms. It can be a general feeling of sadness or it may manifest as anger, guilt, and self-loathing.
Below are the signs to look for if you think that you or someone close to you may be suffering from depression:
Feeling Hopeless and Helpless
It is natural for people to feel helpless and hopeless when they are in a difficult situation, but this feeling should go away after the troubling event has been dealt with. However, if you experience these feelings continuously for weeks or months, you may be suffering from depression.
Another very common sign of depression is a lack of motivation. People who are depressed often feel like there’s no point in doing anything. This leads them to lose interest in the simple pleasures of life.
This can show up in many different ways, such as not wanting to go out with friends, being unable to focus on work tasks, or losing interest in activities that the person used to enjoy.
It may also be expressed as a lack of energy, where it feels like every day is just one long slog and nothing seems enjoyable anymore. If you find yourself feeling this way consistently for weeks or months then it may be a sign of depression.
Lack of Interest in Social Activities
Depression can also cause a person to become isolated and withdrawn from their friends and loved ones. This withdrawal usually manifests as not having any desire to interact with anyone, even those who used to mean the world to you.
Individuals who are depressed often have negative thoughts about themselves and the world around them. They may believe that they’re worthless, or not good enough for anyone. This may lead to thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
If you find yourself having negative that you can’t seem to shake off, or thoughts of self-harm or suicide, seek professional help as soon as possible.
Changes in Sleep Patterns
People who are depressed often have disruptions in their sleep patterns. They may find themselves sleeping more than usual, having trouble falling asleep, or waking up early and not being able to fall back asleep. This can interfere with your day-to-day life and lead to low productivity at work or school.
Changes in Eating Habits
It is common for people to change their eating habits when they are depressed. Some may eat more or less, have cravings that seem unusual, and others might even stop eating altogether.
This can lead to weight loss or gain which will affect the individual’s physical appearance and health in general.
Excessive Fatigue and Lack of Energy
Depression often causes people to feel exhausted. This can lead to problems staying awake during the day and having an overwhelming need for sleep at night, even after sleeping for hours on end.
Anger and Irritability
If you find yourself feeling very angry or irritable all the time and it’s hard to control your emotions, this can be a sign of depression. This is because frustration leads to feelings of anger and hopelessness.
If you notice that your mood has been rapidly changing or you’re feeling very angry for no reason, it may be a sign of an underlying mood disorder like depression.
Guilt and Self-loathing
Depression can also cause a person to feel guilty about themselves or the things they’ve done. This may lead them to have feelings of self-loathing or hate towards others who seem more fortunate than they do.
Self-medication and Reckless Behavior
People suffering from depression will go to great lengths to escape reality. This can lead them to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, which may lead to addiction and high-risk behaviors like reckless driving.
If you notice any of these signs, it doesn’t mean you’re depressed, but it’s important to reach out and talk with a doctor or mental health professional about how you are feeling.