Depression (also known as major depressive disorder) is a mood disorder that has a significant impact on the feelings, thoughts, and behavior of those affected. It causes persistent feelings of sadness, which can make one lose interest in daily activities. This may lead to emotional and physical problems in day-to-day life, interfering with work, school, and relationships. To help one recognize the disorder and seek help to manage it, here are warning signs of depression:
1. Loss of interest in daily activities
Activities that one used to enjoy previously may not interest one anymore. This could be true of hobbies, pastimes, and social activities. One may also be unable to take care of oneself and face issues eating, bathing, or fulfilling family or work responsibilities.
2. Changes in appetite
Some people with depression may experience loss of appetite, while others may feel like eating too often.
3. Sleep-related changes
Another common warning sign of depression is changes in the sleeping schedule. Here, one may either experience insomnia (sleeplessness) or oversleeping.
4. Feelings of hopelessness
As a result of depression, one may develop a hopeless outlook on certain situations. They may also feel helpless in their ability to change a situation.
5. Feelings of guilt or shame
According to research, those with major depressive disorder tend to experience excessive or inappropriate guilt or shame. This can lead to self-critical remarks.
6. Poor memory
Depression has also been associated with memory problems such as forgetfulness and confusion. In some cases, it may also lead to difficulty focusing on work, making decisions, or thinking clearly.
7. Anger or irritability
Those with the disorder may also experience high levels of anger or irritability. It may result in lower tolerance levels and a shorter temper, making one feel agitated and restless.
8. Lack of energy
People with depression may experience a lack of energy and motivation and may feel fatigued. Small routine tasks may also feel exhausting or take longer to complete due to this symptom.
9. Changes in behavior
Depression may cause one to engage in reckless or escapist behavior, such as reckless driving or dangerous sports.
10. Feelings of fear
During a depressive episode, one may also experience a fear of failure, even without any conscious reason.
11. Unexplained pain
The mental health disorder may also cause physical symptoms such as headaches, back pain, or stomach pain.
12. Social withdrawal
Social withdrawal is another common symptom among people with depression. Going out or interacting with friends and family members may feel overwhelming or tiresome. This may cause isolation, loneliness, stress, and interpersonal conflicts.
In severe cases of depression, one may also experience hallucinations or delusions, which are symptoms of psychosis. Here, delusions refer to a false judgment about external reality, which may contribute to the development of inaccurate thoughts or feelings. Alternatively, one may hallucinate, i.e., they may hear, smell, see, feel, or taste things that are not there.
If one notices any depression symptoms and warning signs, they should consult a mental health professional immediately.