Over 16.1 million people in the United States suffer from depression. For some, it is mild. There are other people who suffer from persistent depressive disorder (PDD), which continues for at least two years. Some people become depressed after serious life events such as chronic illness, the death of a loved one, or the end of a relationship or a marriage. There are others who become depressed due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. There are several symptoms that are related to a major depressive episode.
Feelings of Sadness
Everyone feels sad at one time or another, however, if your sadness persists and doesn’t seem to go away, you could be suffering from depression. Feelings of emptiness is also a symptom.
Feelings of Hopelessness
If you once felt hope about your life and your future and suddenly you are experiencing feelings of hopelessness, you could be suffering from depression.
Lack of Interest in Activities that Once Caused Pleasure
If you once had hobbies and activities that you enjoyed and suddenly, you don’t find pleasure in any of them, you could be suffering from depression. For example, if you once looked forward to your Saturday afternoon basketball game and suddenly you would rather stay home, depression could be the underlying reason. Also, if you once enjoyed sex and suddenly you have no sex drive at all, you could be suffering from depression.
Lack of Energy
Lack of energy is a common symptom of depression. If you suddenly have no energy and you feel tired all the time, it could be that you are working too hard and spreading yourself too thin, however, it could be a sign of depression. If you find that you are sleeping several more hours each day than usual or that you would rather be sleeping than doing anything else, you could be suffering from depression or PDD.
While fatigue and sleeping more is a symptom depression, insomnia is as well. If you have trouble sleeping at night even though you are tired, you could be suffering from depression.
Changes in Appetite
Changes in appetite is a sign of depression. For some people, they lose their appetite, resulting in a weight loss. There are some people who overeat when they are suffering from depression which results in weight gain. If you notice changes in your appetite, it is a warning sign.
If you were once a happy, easy going person and suddenly you find that you are irritable, it could be a sign of depression. There are some cases when irritability is caused by other issues, such as stress and lack of sleep, however, if you find that you are feeling irritable often, you could be suffering from depression.
Persistent Physical Symptoms
There are cases where depression can manifest itself in physical symptoms. There are people who suffer from depression who complain of frequent headaches, digestive disorders, and pain that have no medical explanations. While depression manifesting itself as physical symptoms is rare, it does happen.
Depression can result in cognitive problems such as difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions and short-term memory loss. Since these problems are signs of other health problems, depression can be difficult to diagnose if these are the only symptoms.
Thoughts of Suicide
Thoughts of suicide are the most danger
ous symptom of depression. Many depressed people who think about committing suicide eventually attempt it.
Depression is a very serious illness. It can result in physical ailments and in more severe cases, death. Fortunately, through regular visits with a mental health professional and with medication, depression can be treated.