Depression is a serious mental health condition that involves a variety of symptoms, including intense sadness, feelings of guilt, irritability, hopelessness, and emptiness.
Symptoms of depression can vary from one person to the next, which is why we’ve outlined some of the most common symptoms in this slideshow. Read on to learn about how you can help yourself or someone you know who is suffering.
Anger is a common symptom of depression, particularly for people with bipolar disorder. Specifically, prolonged anger can be a sign of clinical depression, and it can display itself through aggression, fighting, or yelling. It can also negatively affect relationships at work, home, and school and make anxiety worse, just as the next symptom suggests…
Anxiety and depression are typically intertwined, and one usually impacts the severity or onset of the other. Anxiety is marked by a wide range of symptoms, including nervousness, chronic stress, or constant fear. Anxiety can also be felt in your body, such as feeling nauseous, exhausted, or shakey.
Anxiety that lasts more than a few weeks is usually a symptom of a serious health problem, which can lead to this next sign of depression…
Fatigue is different than general tiredness. People with fatigue generally feel extremely tired most of the time, no matter how much sleep they get. Fatigue is a common symptom of depression and can interfere with your sleep patterns as well as your desire to stay active or motivated.
In severe cases, fatigue can prevent you from going to work or school. You may feel ill or develop frequent headaches or soreness throughout your body, which can cause the following depression symptom…
Inability to Concentrate
The inability to concentrate on important tasks is another common sign of depression. When depression is severe, it can take over your body and your mind, which can impact how well you stay focused. Feeling distracted can make meeting deadlines or finishing projects feel impossible, which often adds to already-present anxiety.
A lack of concentration can lead to other serious symptoms, including…
Severe, chronic irritability is usually a sign of depression or other mental health disorders, like anxiety. Some symptoms of irritability may include frustration, impatience, or sensitivity.
Excessive irritability can also make it difficult to maintain healthy, stable relationships with people, which is another symptom of depression…
Loss of Interest in People & Activities
Maintaining healthy relationships when you are depressed can be difficult. Feeling isolated or alone are also common symptoms of depression, and you may start to realize you’ve lost interest in spending time with people altogether. Even more, if you also have lost interest in doing the things you used to love, you may be depressed.
It may be time to seek professional help if you begin to isolate yourself from friends or family, have little desire to partake in old hobbies, or have low self-esteem.
This next symptom can truly keep you up at night…
Feeling restless, especially at night, can be a symptom of depression, particularly if has been happening for a long time. Whether it’s racing thoughts or physical fatigue, there are many reasons you may be feeling restless.
If not treated, restlessness can result in serious sleep problems, like insomnia, and can leave you feeling even more tired and worn down than before. Common symptoms of restlessness include difficulty falling or staying asleep at night, nighttime anxiety, or tossing.
Other people, on the contrary, may notice the following symptom occuring…
Sleeping too Much
Oversleeping is another common symptom of depression. It can also relate to losing interest in relationships or hobbies. You may feel the urge to stay in bed all day instead of getting up and going to work or school. Activities or relationships you once enjoyed waking up for may start to lose impact on your life in depression cases.
It turns out, depression has a huge link to sleep, so the next symptom involves rest, or lack thereof, too…
Insomnia is a serious sleep disorder that is characterized by having a difficult time falling or staying asleep at night. People with insomnia are usually extremely tired during the day but then find it hard to get to sleep at night. Other symptoms may include waking up throughout the night, rarely getting enough sleep, and severe depression.
If depression is severe, it can lead to this serious symptom…
Thoughts of Suicide
Having suicidal thoughts, otherwise known as suicidal ideation, is a serious and severe symptom of depression.
If you or someone you know has felt or expressed thoughts of suicide, it is critical that you seek help immediately. You can call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
Common signs that someone is thinking about suicide include, but are not limited to: expressing a plan or method, access to a weapon, joking or talking about suicide or death, hopelessness, saying goodbye or giving away belongings, substance abuse, and mood changes.
If you have suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional, like a counselor, psychologist, or therapist immediately. You should also reach out to a trusted friend or loved one for support.
Exploring treatment options is critical for those who suffer from depression, which we explain in the next slide…
Potential Treatment Options
Regardless of the cause of depression, it is essential to seek appropriate care. This way, you can keep your life on track and better prevent additional—and more severe—side effects from developing. If you even think there is a slight possibility you may be depressed, seek help.
The first step should be to speak with someone, such as a counselor, about your symptoms. Health professionals can lead patients in the right direction when it comes to depression treatment. Generally, the next step will be to speak in greater detail about symptoms with a psychiatrist and/or psychologist…
What’s the Difference Between a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist?
While a psychologist or a counselor often focuses more on mental and emotional concerns, a psychiatrist is a medically trained doctor who can prescribe medication and monitor a patient’s drug plan. Oftentimes a psychiatrist can also provide counseling. It is up to you whether you seek help from a psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor.
To make your decision easier, you can check to see which conditions each provider treats, decide with your doctor if you think medication would help, and develop a list of what you want out of treatment.
Aside from counseling, there are many other ways you can treat symptoms of depression, such as…
Natural Treatment Options
Before beginning or instead of prescription medications, a mental health professional might recommend a course of natural treatments. These options might include exercising, eating well, staying hydrated, reducing or eliminating caffeine intake, and meditating.
Some people find these actions alleviate their symptoms, while others use both medications and these self-care practices to better manage their symptoms. For people who need a little extra boost, prescription medications might be in order…
If lifestyle changes don’t help, prescription medications might. Your health care provider will be able to answer any questions you have regarding medication for depression. Most likely he or she will talk to you about antidepressants. Common classes of antidepressants include SSRIs or SNRIs.
These medications may help the brain make, bind, and better maintain levels of neurotransmitters associated with mood. Antidepressants may help people feel better, enjoy life more, and be more productive. In some cases, antidepressants can make the counseling process more bearable.
The next treatment method is less common…
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
Another possible treatment for depression is called transcranial magnetic stimulation. It is noninvasive, which means it does not include surgery. This painless process involves using magnetic fields, or light shocks, to stimulate the brain’s nerve cells.
Remember, treatment is vital in order to reduce and alleviate symptoms of depression. It is always worth it to seek help, especially if you are aware that your symptoms are severe and abnormal. If not treated, symptoms could worsen…
Dangers if Left Untreated
When left untreated, depression can lead to substance abuse, self-destruction, terminal medical conditions, issues at work or school, personal conflicts, and even social isolation. This is why it is critical to seek treatment for depression.
Of course, these issues are just a few of the complications that can arise from untreated depression…
Complications Down the Line
Many complications from untreated depression can lead to even more challenges in life, like job loss and economic hardship. Both of these issues can worsen depression. These, of course, are just a few examples of the importance of taking care of depression as early as possible.
If you need help now, there are resources available…
For help in time of a crisis or emergency, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255. This resource is free and confidential.