All people can experience depression, regardless of their background. How they exhibit symptoms however can vary. The primary symptom is sadness however did you know one can also become angry, appear overly aggressive, or engage in substance abuse – all these are true.
Depending on the person, any of these symptoms could be signs they are suffering from depression. Here are some of the main symptoms and signs of depression to be aware of.
1. Changes in sleep
For some people, depression results in too much sleep and for others, too little. Sudden changes in sleep can be a sign that something’s wrong emotionally. A lack of sleep or too much sleep could lead to negative behavioral, emotional, and physical symptoms as well.
2. Losing enjoyment in pleasure
Undiagnosed depression is most commonly acted out by losing pleasure in normally pleasurable activities. This could be sexual in nature but doesn’t have to be. It can everything from food to television shows and movies. If nothing’s making you happy, you may have to consider depression’s a possibility.
3. Drinking more or taking drugs
When we lose pleasure, energy, or are bored, we look to other things to provide us happiness and excitement. Someone drinking more than usual or who has begun taking drugs could be struggling with something they’re trying to bury or forget. If you notice a loved one has upped their alcohol or drug intake, it’s something to take seriously.
4. Difficulty concentrating
Depression oftentimes has the effect of weighing everything down on a person. They feel physically, emotionally, and intellectually at a standstill. Their productivity can go out the window alongside their ability to concentrate. Although some diet changes can potentially improve concentration levels, ongoing concentration difficulty can be a symptom of an underlying depression.
5. Avoiding social situations
In sadness, sometimes, we don’t want to talk about our feelings and we don’t want to seek treatment. Instead, we avoid social situations and family gatherings, hoping to ‘handle it ourselves’. It’s important to remember that depression is a mood disorder, affecting thoughts, feelings, the physical body, and behaviour. Some depressions pass however a lot of incidences require more attention. Instead of avoiding social situations, be honest with yourself. Find the healthy methods and coping strategies you need to re-balance yourself.
6. Feeling tired
There’s a lot of reasons as to why someone can appear tired or be agitated from being tired. Depression once again has the effect of shutting down a person’s energy levels which results in tiredness that doesn’t seem to dissipate.
7. Obsessive work hours
When some do not have much going on in their social lives and/or if they’re struggling with a depression, they may choose to throw themselves obsessively into work. If this behaviour appears in a loved one, this is something to note as working long hours and doing so without taking the necessary proper breaks is a sign that something else is going on.
8. Controlling or abusive in relationships
When someone is in a depression, they may feel like they are losing control of their lives. The inability to overcome depression can lead one to become more controlling or abusive in their relationships, using this as a means of feeling better and more in control of themselves and their circumstances.
9. Risk-taking behaviour
Engaging in gambling, unsafe sex, or similarly risk-driven activities is motivated sometimes by the need to feel something outside of the depression and sadness they have. After all, when everything feels like nothing, the desire to feel something can lead to seeking excitement from extremes. These signs and symptoms are particularly dangerous, and you should seek a licensed therapist to alleviate the depression immediately.
10. Physical symptoms
Depression is a mental health condition however it can result in physical symptoms and signs as well. Headaches, tightness in the chest, joint pain or limb pain, back pain, digestive problems, or unintentional weight loss can all be a result of depression.
11. Appetite changes
In an effort to feel something more pleasurable, a person suffering with depression may choose more food. Alternatively, someone very low might feel like they don’t want to eat as much. Appetite changes can happen in any which way but it’s a common symptom showing among depression patients.
12. Lost interest in passions
When someone is depressed, they may no longer be interested in pursuing hobbies or passions. Something as simple as playing guitar may seem pointless to them and all they might want to do now is to stay in bed, on the couch, or to stay quiet. Depression unfortunately has a way of barricading a person inside of themselves, reducing them emotionally unavailable for their passions.
13. Less motivated at work
Most people have a love-hate relationship with work but when depression swings into full gear, some struggle to maintain their drive and ambition to do a good job in their role. Feeling less motivated to succeed at work can be a sign that something’s wrong. Maybe a change of environment will do this person good. Alternatively, if they wish to continue in their existing role, they will need to address the underlying causes of their lack of motivation.