It’s natural to feel down or anxious from time to time. What’s not natural, however, is prolonged feelings of hopelessness and despair. When these emotions grab hold, and won’t let go, it is likely you may have depression. Depression makes every day a constant challenge. You no longer enjoy life as you once did. Just getting out of bed can feel overwhelming. Depression is more common than you might think. According to the World Health Organization depression is a common mental condition and on a global level, “more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression.” In America, “an estimated 16.2 million adults has at least one major depressive episode in 2016. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults.” (according to the National Institute of Mental Health). That is a staggering number.
But, through education and therapy, you can overcome depression and get back to the life you were meant to live. There are many highly effective forms of treatment that can help you manage and overcome your depression. Many people are helped with the use of antidepressant medications. Medications are useful in controlling the symptoms of depression, especially for folks who have severe depression. Psychotherapy is another effective treatment. One of the benefits of psychotherapy is that it has the enduring effect that protects against symptoms returning even after treatment is ended. Meaning that you can develop skills to help manage your current symptoms and also help reduce possible future episodes.
If you’re unsure of whether you are suffering from depression, read on to learn common signs of the disease.
Signs of Depression
How can you tell if you are depressed? It may seem like an odd question, but a surprising number of people do not recognize that they may be suffering from depression. While some signs are obvious, others can be subtle.
Every individual will manifest symptoms in a different way, so it’s important to recognize any changes in your behavior. With this in mind, here are four signs you might be struggling with depression.
Changes in Weight
Depression can affect individuals in different ways. Some people may find they have no appetite at all and, before long, lose a significant amount of weight. Others may find their desire for food increases and they easily gain weight.
Changes in Sleep Cycles
As with a person’s appetite, the changes to one’s sleep cycle can also go in one of two directions. You may notice you feel lethargic and want nothing more than to sleep all day. Then again, you may find you can’t fall asleep and are restless all night long.
Anger and Irritability
It has been said that anger is depression turned inward. If you suddenly find yourself with a short fuse, and things that used to not bother you now cause you to fly off the handle, it may be a sign you need some help.
Many people don’t realize that depression can manifest itself physically. It is common for sufferers to feel sick to their stomach with whole body aches. Some may find they seem to have a cold or flu that won’t go away, while others may notice their chronic conditions, such as arthritis, are exacerbated by depression.
It is important to recognize these signs so you may seek treatment as soon as possible. While depression may feel like a life sentence, reaching out for help will put you on the path toward joy and peace once again.
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.