It’s estimated that 16.1 million adults in the United States have experienced at least one bout of major depression. Depression is a serious mental illness that not only impacts how you feel but also how you act.
According to the Mayo Clinic, depression symptoms can include: 1. Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings 2. Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism 3. Irritability 4. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once enjoyed, including sex 5. Fatigue and decreased energy 6. Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions 7. Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or excessive sleeping 8. Appetite and/or weight changes 9. Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts 10. Restlessness and irritability
It’s important to note that not everyone who experiences these symptoms will be diagnosed with depression. Depression is diagnosed when these symptoms are present for two weeks or longer and they interfere with your ability to function in your everyday life. If you’re wondering if you or a loved one may be suffering from depression, here are 10 common symptoms to look out for:
1. Persistent Sad, Anxious, or “Empty” Feelings. One of the hallmark symptoms of depression is feeling persistently sad, anxious, or empty. If you’re struggling with depression, you may feel like you can’t get out of a low mood no matter what you do. You may also feel anxiety or nervousness that won’t go away.
2. Feelings of Hopelessness, or Pessimism. Another common symptom of depression is feeling hopeless or pessimistic about the future. If you’re depressed, you may feel like things will never get better or that you’ll never be able to overcome your current problems.
3. Irritability. When you’re struggling with depression, you may find yourself feeling more irritable than usual. You may be quick to anger or snap at those around you. This symptom is more common in men than women.
4. Loss of Interest in Activities or Hobbies Once Enjoyed. If you’re depressed, you may lose interest in activities or hobbies that you used to enjoy. This can include things like sex, going out with friends, or working on hobbies.
5. Fatigue and Decreased Energy. Depression can also cause fatigue and decreased energy levels. If you’re struggling with depression, you may find it hard to get out of bed in the morning or have little energy throughout the day.
6. Difficulty Concentrating, Remembering Details, and Making Decisions. Another common symptom of depression is difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions. This can make it hard to accomplish tasks at work or school.
7. Insomnia, Early-Morning Awakening, or Excessive Sleeping. Depression can also cause changes in sleep patterns. This can include insomnia, or difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. It can also cause early-morning awakening, or waking up earlier than usual and being unable to get back to sleep. In some cases, depression can cause excessive sleeping.
8. Appetite and/or Weight Changes. Changes in appetite and weight are also common symptoms of depression. You may find that you’re eating more or less than usual when you’re struggling with depression. This can lead to weight gain or weight loss.
9. Thoughts of Suicide, Suicide Attempts. If you’re struggling with depression, you may have thoughts of suicide. You may also make suicide attempts. If you’re having thoughts of suicide, it’s important to get help from a mental health professional or hotline immediately.
10. Restlessness and Irritability. Restlessness and irritability are also common symptoms of depression. If you’re feeling restless, you may have a hard time sitting still or may feel like you’re always on the go. You may also be easily annoyed or angered.
If you're asking yourself whether or not you have depression, it's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and to talk to a mental health professional. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above for more than two weeks, you may have depression. Please keep in mind that these are only general guidelines and that only a professional can give you a definitive answer. If you think you may have depression, the best thing to do is to talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
Depression is a serious condition that can be debilitating for those who suffer from it, but with proper treatment, many people with depression can lead happy and productive lives.
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