Depression is a very common condition that causes a person to think, feel, and act differently. Most people don’t notice they have depression until it becomes a serious enough problem to see a doctor or mental health specialist.
Diagnosing and treating depression early can save you a lot of time spent feeling miserable – and it can be easier to treat. Here are 5 early warning signs of depression that you should be on the lookout for. If you notice any of them, talk to a mental health expert about whether you may have depression.
· Lack of Interest
Most people turn towards their hobbies when they feel unhappy. However, when you have depression, you no longer find pleasure or enjoyment in things that you used to love or get excited about. Lost interest is not just limited to hobbies, but also to work, chores, exercise, going out with friends, talking to people, dating, and participating in leisure activities.
· Feeling Hopeless
A common early sign of depression is having a helpless and hopeless outlook on life. While everyone experiences pessimistic thoughts here and there, depression causes a fundamental shift in the way you think, causing your perspective to become inherently negative and hopeless. This may be noticed by loved ones who interact with you on a daily basis and see a shift in your outlook, but it can also go unnoticed by others.
· Sleep Problems and Fatigue
A common sign of depression is sleep trouble. People who are depressed often struggle to feel energized and rejuvenated because of troubled, inadequate, and interrupted sleep. Depressed individuals often have trouble falling asleep, because their thought patterns prevent their minds from relaxing and shutting down. It is also common for depressed individuals to feel tired all the time, with no plausible explanation as to why.
· Change in Weight and Appetite
Depression alters the way you feel and act. It also impacts your diet, food cravings, and eating habits. You may find yourself reluctant to eat or cook for yourself (choosing instead to order take-out all the time). You may also find yourself eating foods or using substances that are determinantal to your health. It is also common for depressed individuals to stop eating normally, choosing to skip meals frequently due to lack of hunger and disinterest in food. If you notice yourself losing or gaining weight due to lifestyle changes brought on by frequently feeling sad or hopeless, it could be depression.
· Uncontrollable Emotions, Persistent Irritability, and Mood Swings
Finally, if you notice your mood is persistently negative or irritable, or you feel emotionally overwhelmed a lot of the time, you may have depression. People mistakenly assume that depressed individuals cannot feel or show happiness at all. The truth is, depressed individuals can often hide their condition very well from others. This means that you may have a loved one suffering from depression without you even knowing it because they are able to interact with you normally while feeling depressed inside. If you think you may be depressed but are not showing overtly obvious signs that others could have noticed, focus on your internal thoughts and how you feel when alone. If you feel despair, hopelessness, loneliness, fear, or anxiety within your head or while alone, it could be a sign of depression.
Depression Treatment in Danville, Martinsville, and Richmond, VA
If you or a loved one is suffering from depression and want to find a lasting solution, look no further than the mental health providers at Epic Health Partners. Your depression may need more than just medication. Our mental health providers can offer you comprehensive care, behavioral management, psychiatry services, and counseling to help break the cycle of depression.
Consult with our mental health providers today by calling at (434) 835-4601 or by filling out our consultation request form.