Almost everyone feels a little bit blue from time to time, and that's normal. After all, everything about life isn't always rainbows and butterflies. But sometimes, that sadness manifests into something bigger.Initially, it can be difficult to differentiate between a typical, fleeting sort of sadness and a chronic, lasting condition that needs professional intervention. There are, however, subtle signs you may have depression and knowing them can really make a difference in both your overall mental health and how you feel day to day.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), about 16 million Americans had at least one "major depressive episode" in the last year. Additionally, NAMI noted that women are 70 percent more likely to experience depression than men, meaning knowing the signs and symptoms associated with the disorder is especially important for women.
It's well-known that major life disruptions such as the sudden loss of a job, death of a loved one, or a sudden, messy, major break-up cause a lot of stress, which can be a trigger for a mood disorder like depression. If you or a loved one show any of these nine signs, it could be a reason to see your doctor, psychiatrist, or clinical psychologist just in case. Depression can be treated, so see your doctor for help.
1. You Have An Unexplained Pain
Got a back ache that just won't quit and have no idea how it started in the first place? According to the Mayo Clinic, unexplained physical pain, especially back aches or headaches, can be a symptom of depression. If doctors are flummoxed, consider asking about depression. You never know, it could lead to both your back and your mood feeling better soon.
2. You Feel An Overwhelming Fatigue
If you still feel exhausted after getting a good night's sleep, there may be something else going on. Feeling fatigued even after upwards of 12 hours of sleep could point to a mood disorder, according to Dartmouth College's Counseling & Human Development.
3. Nothing Makes You Happy
According to Prevention, feelings of numbness or indifference could mean you're depressed. Dr. Simon Rego, associate professor of clinical psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and director of psychology training at Montefiore Medical Center, told Prevention that losing the motivation to get out of bed and participate in activities as normal can be a symptom of a depressive disorder.
4. You're Irritable Or Quick To Anger
Feel like you're flying off the handle more often than usual? Though there are plenty of reasons as to why you're quicker to lose it, Everyday Health noted that anger and irritability can be depression symptoms.
5. You Experieince Weight Loss Or Weight Gain
Like with stress, illness, or PMS, some people eat more when they're experiencing depression and some lose their appetite. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, changes in weight or appetite can occur with depression.
6. You Can't Concentrate Or Make Decisions
Periodic indecisiveness or absentminded forgetfulness may mean nothing at all, after all, they happen to everyone from time to time. But according to the Office on Women's Health, difficulty making decisions, staying focused, or remembering things can point to depression. If it happens a lot or in conjunction with other symptoms, mention it to your doctor.
7. You Feel Guilty
Depression is a real disorder that can directly affect your day-to-day life. Feeling guilty or hopeless that you're not happier, more productive, or anything else can be a symptom of depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The fact is, it's your illness, not your lack of effort or ambition.
8. You Feel Lonely And Isolated
Being alone is great. Sometimes you just need a to take a break. But if you find yourself increasing closed off and alone, depression could be to blame, according to Dartmouth College's Counseling & Human Development.
9. You Spend Too Much Time Online
Let's face it: a lot of people spend quite a bit of time online. But replacing too many of those in real life relationships with virtual ones can be a symptom of depression, according to Prevention. Either people can be trying to escape to the online world that they deem better than their real life or they might just feel unconnected to people and so spend extra time scrolling through Facebook.