Depression: What are the warning signs?

Life gives us reasons to be happy and sad. Those are normal reactions that should not be mistaken with depression, and being sad doesn’t always translate to being depressed. While depression affects people differently, most victims admit to having the same symptoms over time. They describe depression as that bad feeling after a stressful week at work or break up. That’s why it’s easy to ignore various signs of depression, only to find out when it’s too late. The main difference between sadness and depression is that depression only gets worse, and you end up experiencing dark, persistent unshakable feelings. Here are the main warning signs to look out for.

Lost interest

If you were the life of the party everywhere you went and noticed that lately you are quieter, moody, and feel lost, you could be dealing with depression. You also feel no joy or pleasure when you engage in your favorite pastimes, hobbies, and social activities. Depression typically takes away everything you love or enjoy doing and it's also associated with trouble making decisions, thinking, concentrating, and remembering things. You lose the ability to be happy and have a bleak outlook that nothing you do will make things better no matter how hard you try. You may also notice slowed body movements and frequent negative thoughts.

Tiredness and sleep problems

Depending on the type of person you are, you either experience oversleeping or insomnia. Others sleep normally but wake up very early in the morning, even when they have nothing to do. Additionally, part of what may prevent you from doing the things you enjoy is because you feel exhausted. Depression often comes with an overwhelming feeling of fatigue and lack of energy--one of the most debilitating symptoms of depression. Some people may stop doing simple daily activities like showering or grooming. Ironically, you get tired even when you don’t do anything, which leads to oversleeping or lack of sleep.

Overeating or undereating

Weight fluctuation is another worrying sign of depression. Depending on your experience, you may eat less or eat more than usual. However, medical professionals have revealed that depressed individuals may lack appetite, eat less, lose weight in the first stages of the condition and begin overeating when other symptoms like hopelessness develop. They also suggested that people often overeat to fill an emotional void and find relief. Some end up changing their diet completely. For instance, if you are used to checking your weight by eating more vegetables and fruits, you may develop an entirely different craving for snacks and junk that could quickly bring your weight back.

Suicidal thoughts

If you can’t snap out of the suicide thoughts, you might be struggling with depression. The hopelessness and despair can make you feel like the only way to end your pain is to commit suicide. People who end up committing suicide to end depression often show signs like talking about death. Some may try to harm themselves or attempt suicide once or several times. That’s why it’s imperative to look out for any out-of-the-ordinary behavior in a depressed friend or loved one.

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