Clinical depression, or major depressive disorder, is a mental health problem which impacts Americans of all ages and walks of life. Regrettably, people do not always recognize depression and seek treatment for themselves or loved ones.The subtle nature of depression can make it tough to recognize, so we’ve compiled a list of the top ten symptoms to help you identify it more easily. Discover the signs that may indicate that someone is experiencing major depressive disorder symptoms and empower yourself with the knowledge to recognize and respond.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression is a real mental health problem happening in millions of Americans. More than simple sadness or low energy, depression symptoms are prolonged, persistent, and seemingly intractable. They affect the person’s activities of daily life and interpersonal relationships, too.
While depression can be treated through a combination of medication, counseling and cognitive therapies, symptom recognition is key to getting professional help. So, if you see the following symptoms in your own self or in someone close to you, recognize the signs as real, and seek out treatment.
- Pronounced And Prolonged Feelings of Sadness
Everyone experiences the blues now and again. Maybe there’s a job change, loss of a family member or friend, or financial downturn. Feeling disturbed and down is only natural in these circumstances.
However, when people are noticeably sad and look and feel totally drained and unlike themselves for two weeks or longer, major depressive disorder may be the cause. While imbalances in the brain’s neurotransmitters–such as serotonin–often cause major depressive symptoms, other contributing factors can be:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Trauma (either physical or emotional)
- Health problem, such as diabetes or cancer
- Low self-esteem
- Lack of Physical Energy
People with major depressive disorder look and feel very fatigued, or even complain they feel extremely low in energy. Every normal action and activity–even getting dressed in the morning–takes tremendous effort.
- Mental Fog and Poor Memory
Depression causes difficulty concentrating, poor cognition (fuzzy thinking) and even difficulty remembering things. Often, poor memory is blamed on simple aging; however, depression may be the culprit.
- Disinterest in Daily Routines, Sex,and Hobbies
Depressed individuals have difficulty engaging in daily routines at home and at work. The household may become unkempt, and deadlines are missed at school or at work.
Additionally, once enjoyed pursuits, such as hobbies and sports, no longer bring happiness and delight. Sexual activity decreases as does the interest and pleasure in it.
- Outbursts of Anger and Violence
With depression, people who are usually calm and mild may suddenly express anger and even act out violently and suddenly. Shouting, destruction of property or threats of violent acts toward others can happen with untreated depression.
- Loss of Appetite or Increase in Body Weight
The depressed person may feel no appetite for food and start losing noticeable amounts of weight. Conversely, depression may lead to overeating and excessive weight gain.
- Body Pain
All over body pain or extreme joint and muscular discomfort can accompany depression. This pain does not originate in exercising too much or in overexertion at work. Headaches are frequent signs of depression, too.
- Mood Swings
Depression can make people feel overwhelmed and desperate. These negative feelings may come on quickly and then revert to a more stable mood.
- Thoughts of Self-Harm
Suicide and self-harm are all too common outcomes of long-standing major depressive disorder. Despair and hopelessness are key features of depression, and significant others must monitor depressed loved ones carefully to keep them safe.
- Anxiety and Sleep Disruption
Constant feelings of agitation, restlessness and anxiety coincide with depressed moods and thoughts. Also, people with major depressive disorder experience insomnia or may sleep too much and at odd times of the day.
Major Depressive Disorder Treatment in Richmond, VA
If you or someone close to you shows signs of depression, don’t wait, help is available, and recovery is possible. Call EPIC Health Partners for a confidential and compassionate consultation with one of our skilled providers. We assist people of all ages and walks of life in achieving and maintaining their best mental, emotional and behavioral health. We offer convenient telehealth visits, too.
Phone us at (434) 835-4601, or request your appointment online. We have locations in Martinsville, Danville and Richmond, VA.
Remember, if you or a loved one express thoughts of self-harm or suicide, do not wait. Contact 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention LIfe Line at (800) 873-TALK (8255), or text 741-741. Real help is available, and hope is real.