Depression is defined as a mental health disorder which causes frequent and persistently depressed mood with a noticeable loss of interest in activities that can cause a disruption of healthy daily life. Humans have been aware of depression since the times of the Old Testament but with modern studies its been found that there are two serious mood disorders for depression, Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depressive Disorder). Major depressive disorder is also called unipolar depression as there is no major change in moods like with Bipolar disorder.
It’s been found that over 3 million new cases of Depression every year, just in the United States alone. Many people who suffer from depression don’t even realize that they are depressed and assume that the way things are going for them is how they are supposed to be and not an abnormality. They often find it difficult to explain their reasons for being depressed or why they experience changes in mood without reason.
Many explain their feelings of being depressed as intense emotional pain and sadness. It can be of help for you to understand what is depression and the signs to watch out for because you may be experiencing some of these symptoms yourselves. You may also have someone close to you who may be exhibiting these signs and may not even realize that they are suffering from depression.
Now let’s take a look at the signs of depression that may suggest that you suffer from depression.
Signs Of Depression:
The most common symptoms of depression include loss of interest in daily activities and interactions with others. There is also a lack of energy and difficulty to experience happiness and pleasure. Overwhelming sadness is also a big part of being depressed which can lead to detachment from work, relationships, school, and family. Financial loss can also be significant as you lose productivity, drive and are disinterested in keeping your health in mind when you suffer from depression.
Here are some of the signs of depression explained in detail:
Problems With Getting The Right Amount Of Sleep
Studies show that over 80% of those depressed find it difficult to fall asleep and suffer from sleep onset insomnia. This disruption can cause fatigue, low energy levels, and excessive sleepiness during the day. Studies using Polysomnogrpahic tests have concluded that depressed people have low REM sleep times which proves that they don’t get enough deep sleep, the sleep we require to dream and truly rest our body and mind.
Depression can also cause twice the likelihood of having sleep disorders and vice versa. Studies have also shown that those who have psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia have a higher chance of having insomnia. And the chances of those with insomnia even having depression are four times higher than healthy people.
Insomnia is not the only sleep problem that is a sign of depression. There are also those who sleep a lot more than average or that is needed when they are depressed. These people suffer from depression because they have feelings of isolation from the world, causing them to disconnect from the world by sleeping during the night as well as during the day.
Eating Disorders, Excessive Weight Loss & Excessive Weight Gain
We have all heard of people gaining weight when they are stressed but what about when they are depressed? Well, researchers have found that depression can lead to excessive weight loss as well as extreme weight gain with a high percentage of people with depression, having eating disorders, especially in case of women.
Many depressed people don’t exercise or have little physical activities, leading to compromised diet and a lack of appetite which lead to eating disorders. The most common types of eating disorders associated with being depressed include bulimia and anorexia. There are also some people who binge-eat foods which results in excessive weight gain due to the lack of activity and exercise.
Having Low Energy Levels
One of the most common signs of having depression is an overwhelming loss of energy which is experienced by over 90% of people. When there is a significant loss in energy levels, it’s difficult to finish work, exercise, or even do things that used to interest them before. Depressed people tend to avoid interactions of the social nature and prefer to stay home in isolation.
One of the many consequences of having low energy and depression is that relationships, school, family and work obligations suffer significantly. Also, when depressed people have low energy levels, little activity is performed resulting in a loss of muscle mass, muscle tone and even a drop in bone mass. These problems can cause the strength, physique, and health of the person to deteriorate and weaken.
Losing Interest In Sex & Intimacy
With the loss of energy, lack of interest in activates, too much sleep and low self-worth, it’s only natural that your sex life will suffer when you are depressed. The lack of interest in sex can cause a drop in libido since depressed people find it difficult to get excited about sexual pleasure and intimacy.
Some people who are depressed find it difficult to talk about their depression and the impact it is having on their loss of sex drive which can cause significant relationship problems. For such couples, it’s advised to seek the counsel of a doctor to accurately help treat the depression and the problems it is causing in the relationship. It’s crucial for the partner to understand depression and how it affects those who are depressed, as well as others around the depressed.
Having Feelings Of Worthlessness
The biggest hurdle that depressed people face is the feeling of worthlessness which comes from their isolation and low self-esteem. These people think that they are not important or are useless to anyone by forming a negative view of the world around them. This feeling of worthlessness is magnified for those with low self-esteem which causes self-loathing as well as unneeded or excessive guilt.
Considering Suicide As An Option
Unfortunately, some people are so depressed that this mental health disorder can become fatal with suicidal thoughts. The chilling statistics state that around 60% of depressed people have frequent thoughts of suicide and death with around 15% actually managing to commit suicide. You can call 1-800-273-8255 which is the number for National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if you wish to talk to someone about your depression and if you have any suicidal thoughts.
These signs, especially the last one should be reasons for you to take depression as the serious diseases it is. Depression is not a problem that will go away if you don’t deal with it which is why some organizations and helplines help people that are struggling with this problem.