Are you feeling down and struggling to find a reason – or the energy– to get out of bed in the morning? Could it be a sign of depression?
It’s normal for everyone to experience sadness occasionally, but if it has gone on for weeks without any relief then it could be something more.
Depression is much more than just being unhappy; it is an illness that affects 15 million American adults each year (according to the National Institute of Mental Health).
While depression can have a big impact on your daily life, there are some common warning signs which can help you determine whether or not it may actually be depression. In this blog post we’ll discuss what those signs are.
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Physical Symptoms of Depression
Depression has physical symptoms that may manifest before emotional symptoms arise.
These include fatigue and low energy, changes in sleeping patterns (sleeping too much or too little), loss of appetite or increased cravings for certain foods, unexplained aches and pains, slowed thinking and movement, restlessness, or agitation.
Other physical symptoms may include headaches, stomachaches or digestive issues. If you have several of these physical symptoms at once that don’t seem to have any other explanation than depression, then you should consider consulting an online depression therapist to talk about your mental health.
Emotional Symptoms of Depression
Depression has emotional symptoms as well that can be seen before the physical ones become evident.
These may include feelings of sadness; hopelessness; worthlessness; guilt; emptiness; anxiety; irritability; apathy or indifference to things that used to be enjoyable; loss of interest in hobbies; difficulty concentrating on tasks; lack of motivation or self-discipline.
If these emotional symptoms last longer than two weeks without improving on their own, then it’s time to talk to a therapist about what is going on with your mental health.
Depression can lead to behavioral changes such as withdrawing from friends and family, avoiding activities they used to enjoy doing like going out with friends or playing sports, using drugs or alcohol more often than usual in order to cope with emotions, engaging in risky behaviors such as reckless driving or unprotected sex without considering the consequences beforehand.
All of these are potential signs of depression that should not be ignored if they persist for more than two weeks without any improvement.
The first signs of depression are not always easy to spot but it is important to pay attention if any of these signs occur regularly over a period of time without any improvement. If this happens, then seeking help from a depression therapist is essential to deal with the condition before it gets worse properly. With proper support and treatment, you can thrive again after experiencing depression.
Lindsey Ferris, MS, LMFTA, Washington State