Depression is a very common and highly misunderstood mental problem. Every person experiences feelings of sadness at times in their life. Depression is more than feeling sadness. Depression is a persistent low mood that lasts a long time. It is one of the most common mental illnesses, and some who suffer from it may not even recognize that they have it.
There are different kinds of depression, and many different ways to treat it. Treatment can include various types of group or individual therapy, and medication. One of the problematic aspects of treating depression is that depression often causes low motivation, poor self-care and low energy, which can make a depressed person not seek treatment. Since sadness is a feeling everyone experiences, many people with depression may not even recognize that what they are experiencing is depression, not just run of the mill sadness.
A few of the symptoms of depression include:
Sleep problems can range from insomnia to sleeping too long and too often. Depressed people often feel tired, even when they have just rested or have no external reason to need more sleep. Depression can also keep people awake at night. Any ongoing interruption of normal sleep habits could be a sign of depression.
Eating too much or too little
Lack of interest in food and/or weight loss can be a sign of depression. Conversely, weight gain and overeating, or eating to self soothe, is also a sign of depression. Like sleeping, any noticeable changes in eating habits can be a symptom of depression.
Lack of self-care
Poor hygiene, not scheduling or attending doctor’s appointments, or any sign that shows a lack of desire or ability to take care of oneself is a warning sign of depression. Depressed people may not bathe as regularly as needed, and may have ill-fitting or dirty clothing.
A dark side
Some people naturally have a dark sense of humor, and it does not mean they are depressed. But if a new dark side of a person emerges, such as joking about death or suicide, or becoming fascinated by morbid things, is a sign of depression. Threats of suicide even masked as a joke, should be taken seriously.
Cutting, snapping a rubber band, suicide attempts or reported thoughts of suicide are all forms of self-harm and are warning symptoms of depression.
Loss of interest
If a person seems to have lost interest in things that once brought them joy, this could be a sign of depression. Depressed people will often give up their hobbies, and isolate from friends and family. For example, if a person used to love drawing, but suddenly has no interest in it anymore, that could be a sign of depression.
Sometimes it can be hard to recognize depression because it does not manifest as sadness. Depressed people could show and feel their depression in the form of irritability, impatience, and sensitivity. Having and displaying these feelings for long periods can be depression.