When negative feelings affect your life, seek help from a mental health professional
Depression is a serious mental health condition that affects over 280 million people worldwide. It can cause feelings of hopelessness, sadness, and worthlessness, making it difficult to carry out daily activities. It’s not uncommon for people to experience periods of sadness or low mood from time to time. But when these feelings persist for an extended period and begin to interfere with daily life, it may be a sign of depression.
Recognizing the signs of depression is the first step in seeking help and managing the condition. Depression can be triggered by a variety of factors, including life events, chemical imbalances in the brain, and genetic predisposition. Understanding the risk factors and triggers of depression can help individuals take steps to prevent or manage the condition, allowing them to lead fulfilling lives. By recognizing these signs, individuals can take action to manage their mental health and seek help when needed.
1. Overwhelming Sadness
One of the most common signs of depression is overwhelming sadness. While everyone may feel sad at times, people with depression experience a persistent feeling of sadness that lasts for weeks or months.
It’s normal for people to feel sad periodically, but if you are experiencing sadness that lasts a prolonged period of time or affects your ability to do everyday activities — it could be a sign of depression.
2. Low Mood or Dimmed Interest in Activities
In addition to overwhelming sadness, people with depression may also experience a persistent low mood or a diminished interest in activities. They may also have difficulty finding pleasure in activities that they once enjoyed.
3. Weight Changes
Depression can also cause changes in appetite and weight. Some individuals may experience an increase in appetite and weight gain; others may experience a decrease in appetite and weight loss. Check in with your healthcare professional if you experience significant weight changes in a short period of time.
Sleep disturbances like insomnia are common symptoms of depression. Individuals may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. Insomnia can be caused by a variety of factors including other health complications — check with a healthcare professional to identify the cause of insomnia.
5. Loss of Energy
Depression can cause a significant loss of energy, making it difficult for individuals to perform daily activities. They may feel tired and lethargic, even after a good night’s sleep.
6. Feelings of Worthlessness
People with depression may also experience feelings of worthlessness or guilt. They may believe that they are a burden to others or that they have no purpose in life.
7. Thoughts of Death
Depression can also lead to thoughts of death or suicide. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, it is essential to seek immediate help from a mental health professional or a crisis hotline.
If you have thoughts of suicide, call 911 or 988 (mental health and suicide hotline).
Depression is a serious illness that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Understanding the signs and symptoms of depression is essential for getting help and treatment. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of the signs of depression mentioned in this article, seek help from a mental health professional.
Remember, depression is treatable. With the right support and treatment, individuals can overcome this illness and regain their quality of life.