10 Most Common Signs & Symptoms of Depression
It’s normal to feel sad about certain situations in your life. That’s part of being human and those emotions will fade after a few days.
But if that kind of emotion doesn’t go away and comes with other feelings, then you might be suffering from depression, one of the most common mental disorders.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people around the world have this mental disorder (1). While this seems harmless, depression could lead to suicide. In fact, almost 800,000 people wordwide die of suicide every year (2).
In this article, you will learn about:
- How to identify if its short-lived emotional response or depression
- The different signs and symptoms of depression
- Quick tips on how to address this mental disorder
1. Interest, What Interest?
Each one of us is unique and enjoys specific things for pleasure. For instance, you enjoy going out with friends or trying different restaurants every Friday night, which you look forward to every time.
If all of a sudden, you start to lose interest on the things you find enjoyable to do, then it could be a sign of depression.
Depression takes pleasure away on the things you used to love, including sex. You start not to care about the things that make you happy, thereby losing your ability to feel and experience joy.
- Among the signs and symptoms of depression is losing interest that you find pleasurable and enjoyable
- Depression leads to losing your ability to feel joy on the things you love
2. Depression Leads To Increased Fatigue
It’s okay to feel tired, especially after a long day. Unfortunately, depression is different.
When you are depressed, you often have lack of energy and experience an overwhelming feeling of fatigue. Instead of being productive, you end up sleeping – or oversleeping – since you don’t have the energy to do your tasks.
Consequently, increased fatigue caused by depression could lead to insomnia. Any changes in your normal sleeping patterns could adversely affect your daily schedule and may lead to this next symptom.
- Lack of energy and overwhelming feeling of fatigue are symptoms of depression
- This symptom may also affect sleeping patterns, thereby causing you to either oversleep or undersleep.
3. Anxiety Among The Symptoms Of Depression
First things first. There is no scientific proof that depression causes anxiety. Nonetheless, these two conditions often happen together.
Symptoms of anxiety include:
- Restless or constantly feeling tense
- Rapid heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Increased sweating
- Difficulty in focusing or thinking about the things you need to do
You may associate these symptoms with anxiety alone but if you notice other depression signs mentioned in this article, then you might want to consider getting your mental health checked.
- Depression doesn’t cause anxiety
- These two conditions often go together
4. When BMI Is Messed Up Due To Changes In Weight And Appetite
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, adults with depression were more likely to be obese (3). In fact, 43 percent of adults with depression were on the heavier side of the scale.
Nonetheless, depression will not only make you gain weight. There are still many who experience sudden weight loss as a result of this condition.
These changes in weight may be due to fluctuating appetite. Your current situation affects your eating habits, which in turn affects your BMI as well.
- Depression and weight changes are intertwined
- Weight changes are due to fluctuating appetite
5. Then, There’s That Hopeless Outlook
Here’s the thing about depression: it affects the way you feel about life.
Certain situations will make you question the current situation that you’re in. It’s normal to feel bad about it and negatively affect your mood – for now. Eventually, you will realize that there’s a way out and you can do something about it.
But if you feel otherwise, if you feel that your situation won’t get better and there’s no way out, or you feel hopeless, then this is a clear sign that you are depressed. Then, there’s that feeling of self-hate and worthlessness because you feel that can’t do anything to improve your situation.
You might even hear yourself say, “It’s all my fault” or “What’s the point of fixing this anyway?”
- Hopeless or helpless outlook in life are among the signs of depression
- It often comes with guilt, self-hate, and feeling of worthlessness
6. You Also Feel Aches And Pains, And You Don’t Know Why
You slept the entire day because you’re not in the mood to do anything. You didn’t even do any physical activity because you don’t have enough energy. These are clear symptoms of depression.
But if you also find yourself dealing with pain along with these symptoms and you cannot identify the cause behind it, then you could be going through depression.
Unexplained aches and pains, usually headache, back pain, stomach pain, and muscle pain, are among the physical manifestations that you are depressed.
- Unexplained pain is among the signs and symptoms of depression
- Watch out for physical manifestations that come with other depression symptoms mentioned
7. Signs To Watch Out For: Uncontrollable Emotions
Crying is normal. Getting angry is normal. Feeling sad is normal, especially when certain events happened.
But if your emotions are up, down, and all over the place and you don’t understand why, then you might want to consider getting your mental health checked. After all, an outburst of anger in one minute and crying uncontrollably on the next minute with no reason at all are not acceptable behaviors.
Feeling certain emotions is part of being human. Unfortunately, when your emotions are going out of hand, getting help is the next important thing to do.
- Uncontrollable emotions is one of the signs of depression
- Emotions are not meant to control you
8. Behavior Is Becoming Reckless
Let’s say you’re starting to lose interest in the things that mattered to you before. That’s fine. Interest changes over time because you would want to try and do other things.
But if your interest is veered towards something reckless and dangerous, then you could be in trouble.
Escapist behavior is often a sign of depression. This includes reckless driving, substance abuse, dangerous sports, and even compulsive behavior. Unfortunately, these manifestations won’t solve your issues and will only put your life in danger.
If this symptom doesn’t convince you, then you need to check if other signs are present since this is your body’s way of saying that you are going through depression.
- Reckless behavior is a sign of escapist behavior
- This type of behavior is a sign of depression
9. You Are Easily Triggered Or Angry
In a survey conducted by Rhode Island Hospital, experts reported that two-thirds of the surveyed participants at the outpatient psychiatric practice reported “notable irritability and anger” among the most common symptoms they experienced (4). More so, half of the participants reported this symptom between moderate and severe.
In another study published in JAMA Psychiatry, experts found out that more than half of the participants with major depression showed overt irritability or anger (5).
Here comes the surprising part: anger became an underlying factor in many relationships that those with depression don’t realize it.
- Irritability or anger is among the most common signs of depression
- Unfortunately, this symptom is rarely focused on since people with depression think that the feeling is normal
10. You Consider The Possibility Of Death
Everybody will die at some point. But if you are considering ending your life because of certain situations that are happening in the moment, then a quick trip to the doctor will help a lot.
According to the CDC, more than 47,000 Americans committed suicide with use as firearm as the top form of suicide (6). Unfortunately, suicide is often connected with depression.
Still, before you think about suicide, other signs and symptoms must manifest first. There is also an attempt to at least talk to someone and open up about what you’re really feeling.
Then, there are suicidal tendencies in the form of self-harm. The feeling of hopelessness and worthlessness are also crossing your mind, which leads you to this decision.
- Looking at death is among the symptoms of depression
- Oftentimes, the thought of suicide comes last and after all of the other symptoms are present
Help Is Available
Whatever happens, always remember this: help is available in whatever way. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, then the first thing you need to do is to acknowledge the fact that you might be going through depression. This is your first step towards getting the help you deserve.
Also, remember that you are not alone. Millions of people are going through the same thing as you. Know that there is something you can do about depression if you open your heart and mind with the treatment options available.
The journey towards getting yourself back will never be easy. But with the right treatment plan and a supportive environment, you will be able to bounce back.