Depression is a serious condition that can affect your mental and physical health. It triggers a loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed and feelings of sadness. Depression can result in various physical and emotional problems that can affect the way you think, feel, and handle everyday activities, including eating, sleeping, and working.
It is often triggered by a combination of psychological, environmental, biological, and genetic factors.
Here are 7 subtle signs of depression that you should not ignore.
1. Anger and Irritability
Although most people associate depression with sadness, it can also manifest itself in anger, irritability, and lack of patience with others.
Because your mind deals with the chemical imbalances related to depression, you can not focus on what you need and it can make you feel that everything is bothering you.
“One of the worst symptoms of depression is a feeling of hopelessness,” says Jaime W. Vinick, M.C., LPC, NCC, the chief clinical officer at Sierra Tucson psychiatric facility. Feelings of hopelessness can discourage people from seeking treatment for their depression.
Those suffering from extreme hopelessness may not believe that they will feel or can ever feel better, which explains why some attempt suicide. Some experts also believe that hopelessness can contribute to the development of depression, said clinical psychologist Nick Forand, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at Ohio State University.
For many people with depression, feelings of hopelessness are cultivated over time through a history of failures, Forand says. These failures may be either real or imagined, and self-criticism can play a major role in the latter.
3. Can’t Sleep
Your depression may require you to stay in bed all day or stay up all night. This type of inconsistency and unhealthy sleeping habits may wreak further havoc on your mind.
Because our brains are firing on all cylinders trying to solve problems day and night, it can be difficult for a person suffering from depression to relax enough to sleep.
4. Loss of Interest
Losing interest in three-hour meetings is one thing, but with depression, people may lose interest in things they typically enjoy, such as movies, sports, and spending time with friends. This phenomenon is named anhedonia, according to Gelbart.
Unfortunately, a loss of interest can increase feelings of isolation, resulting in further depression, said Gelbart. The loss of interest could be due to changes in the brain’s levels of reward-regulating hormones and neurotransmitters. It is a self-destructive cycle that can be difficult for people suffering from depression to break.
You may appear as a selfless and self-hating person that still looks down upon yourself for no evident reason. Depression can suck out positivity and leave you with negative thoughts.
Your head is flooded with negative thoughts and you will never compliment yourself or enjoy the sight of yourself from the mirror’s reflection.
6. Eating Difficulties
You can either constantly have an appetite or never have one. This means that you can eat a lot more to forget your depression or you can have no appetite. It can make your eating habits to become unhealthy and inconsistent.
You may lose weight that you may enjoy at first. However, over time, the loss of appetite will lead to low energy. Or you may eat more, particularly foods that are rich in fat and sugar. You may eat some chocolate and then you may feel bad about yourself; it reduces your self-esteem as you put on weight and it is a never-ending cycle.
7. Trouble Concentrating
Many people with depression will tell you that they have a “fog” feeling that clouds their ability to do anything and have trouble concentrating on the simplest tasks.
If you find that you are more likely to be distracted and unable to get back on track, it could be a sign of depression.
Many people try to avoid admitting that they are suffering from any form of depression because the stigma associated with depression and anxiety is still very apparent.
While it is becoming more common and widely talked about, people who come from less-than-understanding families or who have been shamed for their depression in the past might be apprehensive about telling people about their depression.
The good news is that there is a lot of help out there to cope with your depression and you can feel like your old self again once you seek the help you need. Don’t hide it.
The longer you wait for the more difficult it can be to get a handle on your symptoms so reach out to someone to get the help you need today.
Sources: hackspirit.com, livestrong.com