Depression is a serious mental illness that can have a profound impact on every aspect of a person’s life. If you think you may be depressed, it’s important to seek professional help.
There are many different types of depression, and it can be tough to know if what you’re experiencing is simply a case of the blues or something more serious. However, there are some key signs to look out for that may indicate it’s time to seek help from a mental health professional.
1. Feeling down or sad most of the time.
Generally, people who are sad may struggle with feelings of emptiness or hopelessness, but these emotions usually come and go. If you’re experiencing sadness most of the time, however, this could be a sign that you’re suffering from clinical depression. Depression is a serious mental health condition that can make it difficult to enjoy life or feel positive about the future.
2. Losing interest in things you used to enjoy.
Losing interest in things you used to enjoy could be a sign of serious depression. This is because people with depression often experience a general sense of apathy and disinterest in things that once made them happy.
For example, someone who used to love going out to eat may no longer have the desire to go out, or someone who used to enjoy reading may find themselves unable to focus on a book.
There are several reasons why this might happen. For one, depression can cause us to feel unmotivated and lethargic, which makes participating in activities we used to enjoy feel like a chore. Additionally, people with depression often experience a general sense of apathy and disinterest in things that once made them happy. When we’re depressed, we tend to see the world through a negative lens and everything seems less appealing.
Lastly, depression can also lead to feelings of worthlessness and self-hatred, which can make us feel like we don’t deserve to enjoy ourselves. As a result, we may avoid doing things that we used to enjoy because we no longer see the point in them.
3. Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much.
Sleep is extremely important for our mental health all around. It gives our brains a chance to rest and recharge and plays an important role in our moods and emotions. When we’re not getting enough sleep, it can lead to feeling exhausted, stressed out, and irritable.
Depression affects sleeping habits by changing our brain activity and disrupting the sleep-wake cycle, causing us to wake up earlier than usual or in the middle of the night. This can lead to feeling even more exhausted during the day, causing them to sleep for longer periods of time than usual, or want to nap more often.
Additionally, research has shown that there is a link between sleep and mood disorders like depression. The National Sleep Foundation reports that people with insomnia are 10 times more likely to have major depression than those without insomnia. And people with excessive daytime sleepiness are seven times more likely to have major depression than those without excessive daytime sleepiness.
4. Experiencing changes in appetite.
Changes in appetite can be one of the earliest signs that someone is experiencing depression. People with depression may either lose their appetite and experience weight loss, or they may feel the need to overeat and gain weight.
This change in appetite can be due to a number of factors, such as the chemicals in your brain that are affected by depression. When you’re depressed, your brain produces less serotonin, which simultaneously controls your mood and appetite. You may find yourself lacking the energy or motivation to cook or eat healthy foods. Eating unhealthy foods or not eating enough can further exacerbate the symptoms of depression.
People who are depressed may also turn to food for comfort. When you’re feeling down, it can be comforting to eat unhealthy foods that make you feel good for a little while. However, this kind of eating can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
If you’re noticing changes in your appetite and suspect that you may be depressed, it’s important to seek help from a doctor and mental health professional. Your diet controls a lot of different aspects of your health, so it’s important to make sure that you’re eating healthy foods and getting the nutrients that your body needs.
5. Feeling hopeless or worthless.
When we are depressed, we often have a negative view of ourselves. We may feel like we are a burden to others, that we are not good enough, or that we do not deserve happiness, leading to a feeling of hopelessness, as it seems like things will never get better. Additionally, when our self-worth is low, we may feel worthless and undeserving of love and attention. This can be incredibly isolating and can further exacerbate our depression.
Depression can cause us to feel hopeless and worthless because it affects our thoughts and emotions. We may have negative thoughts about ourselves constantly running through our minds and it may feel like we are not good enough no matter what we do. Additionally, depression can cause us to feel isolated and alone, making us feel like we are not wanted or cared for by others.
Remember that these thoughts and emotions are symptoms of depression, and they are not accurate reflections of reality. If you are feeling hopeless or worthless, don’t be afraid to reach out to a friend, family member, or mental health professional for support. These feelings are common among those with depression, and treatment can help you to start feeling better.
6. Experiencing regular aches and pains.
Depression can manifest in a number of ways, including physical aches and pains. One reason for this is that when you’re depressed, your body releases stress hormones that can cause inflammation and pain. This can snowball, leading to a less active lifestyle, which can lead to muscle weakness and discomfort.
Another reason why depression can cause physical pain is that it affects the limbic system, which is responsible for not only your mood but your pain thresholds as well. This means that people with depression may feel pain more intensely than those who are not depressed.
The same chemical imbalances that cause depression can lead to the brain processing pain-causing chemicals in poor ways. When these neurotransmitters are not properly balanced, it can lead to an increase in pain signals, and make it more difficult to cope with pain, leading to a negative cycle where pain causes further depression and vice versa.
7. Thinking about death or suicide.
When someone is suffering from depression, it can feel like there is no way out from the overwhelming negative thoughts and emotions. This can lead to suicidal thoughts, as it can seem like death is the only way to escape the pain.
Depression can cause cyclical negative thinking patterns, leading to increased feelings of despair and hopelessness, as it seems like things will never get better. It’s important to remember that depression clouds judgment, leading to distorted beliefs about yourself, the world, and the future. When combined with other risk factors such as social isolation or mental health problems, suicidal thoughts can become more likely.
It is extremely important to seek treatment if you experience any suicidal thoughts, as depression is a treatable mental illness. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to get immediate help and support.
Find Treatment for Your Depression
If you are looking for a mental health provider who specializes in depression and treatment-resistant depression, BestMind Behavioral Health is here for you. We accept a variety of insurance plans and offer both in-person and telehealth appointments to make it easy for you to get the care you need.
Our providers use a variety of medications and alternative therapies to help you get your life back on track. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get the treatment you need.