10 Signs of Depression You Must Not Ignore
04 January, 2023
Depression, also known as clinical depression, is a mood disorder associated with factors in such as how an individual is feeling, thinking, and handling their daily affairs. Generally, individuals often use the term depression casually after a bad week or encountering a negative experience.
Major depression is much more intense and can cause physical and emotional fluctuations. If a person has a major depressive disorder, which is a type of depression, then medical assistance or professional help becomes all but necessary. Discussed further are the signs of depression and its associated effects.
10 Major Signs of Depression
It is essential to educate oneself on all the possible signs and symptoms of clinical depression, as this education will bring awareness and help an individual suffering from such a disorder.
Here are the top 10 signs of depression that is essential to understand:
Loss of Interest
A person suffering from depression will likely experience a loss of interest or withdrawal from different activities. The zeal to perform their favorite sports, hobbies or any activities is wholly lost in people suffering from this mood disorder.
This reluctance in individuals is profoundly one of the crucial signs of depression.
Your mood and sleep are directly proportional. This means our feelings and thought process has a direct impact on sleep. Most of the time, people with clinical depression have difficulty sleeping, leading to insomnia.
Simultaneously, chronic sleep deprivation can trigger depression in young adults. This situation mostly arises due to neurochemical alteration in the brain.
Appetite and Weight Changes
Developing an eating disorder is considered one of the significant signs of depression during the initial stage. In addition, some individuals suffer from acute weight loss or gain due to inappropriate food consumption.
Moreover, over-eating results in excess body fat or severe inflammation, creating other physical ailments like cardiac and muscle problems.
Modern days, chronic depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand as negative thoughts foster anxiety symptoms. Individuals with depression are found to experience nervousness, restlessness, and panic while encountering different situations.
The loss of interest or unable to feel joy in basic things in life is a prominent sign of severe depression. Furthermore, this constant emotion leads to a loss of confidence and, finally, to generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).
At different stages of depression, individuals face irritation and frustration. Thus, they undergo frequent anger outbreaks. It is in this situation young adults come in contact with substance use to control their emotional turmoil.
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), about 1 out of 5 people with severe depression also have substance or alcohol use disorder.
Fatigue is one of the most prominent symptoms of depression encountered by the majority of individuals. Symptoms of fatigue with major depressive disorder disturb the physical, emotional, and cognitive quotient of the mind.
Young adults with depression choose negative self-talk that damages their perspective about themselves. This leads to a loss of confidence and a sense of self-belief. In addition, this negative approach toward own self is detrimental to cognitive function and mental well-being.
In fact, at different stages of depression, individuals experience a feeling of self-hate or hopelessness, which is fostered through negative self-talk.
Many research studies indicate that depression brews suicidal thoughts. As per a report published in 2013 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 40,000 people died from suicide.
Hence, it is pivotal for the caregivers of the individual suffering from depression to cautiously take steps and seek professional help whenever necessary.
Loss of Concentration
Loss of concentration or inability to retain any past conversation is one of the common signs of depression. In addition to this, difficulties in focusing may accentuate the cascading effect of depression due to challenges faced in professional and personal life.
Health Problems and Pain
Depression not only affects the weight of an individual but causes multiple physical ailments:
Chronic pain in muscles
Inflammation and heartburn
This mood disorder has several negative impacts on mental well-being. Thus, medical attention must be taken for a speedy recovery. Also, to understand the signs of depression well, as mentioned above, it is important to stay up-to-date with its various stages.
Some of the other symptoms of anxiety that one should not ignore include:
Fast breathing and an increase in heart rate
Difficulty in focusing on one particular subject
What are the 5 Stages of Depression?
The primary treatment for depression begins with understanding the stage or phase. As depression is borne by grief, Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has identified the grief cycle model into five stages, which are:
In this denial stage, an individual suffering from grief will not want to accept that he or she has depression. Though there will be early symptoms, the person will not be ready to accept them. This denial period is short, and most of the time, it is mixed with a sense of sadness.
An individual experiencing depression encounter sudden outburst of anger once the denial stage fades away. In this phase, one experiences anger, helplessness and victimized. This feeling usually generates because the person suffering from it has no idea how to and whom to seek help.
In addition, not getting enough support at this stage generally brings mental and physical health problems.
In this stage, the person experiencing depression is aware of his/her state and indulges themselves in other things to improve the state. They try every possible remedy to make depression fade away. However, this phase is extremely short-lived as he/she understands that all these activities are not helping to change their condition.
An individual enters this stage of depression with a feeling of hopelessness and hostility. In this phase, the prominent signs of depression are the sense of withdrawing from others and the unwillingness to engage or socially interact. Moreover, he or she experiences extreme dark headspace due to the constant feeling of loneliness.
These feelings can trigger the thought of harming themselves among young adults.
In this final stage, the person fighting chronic depression accepts their ways of living and becomes fully aware of their condition. Then, he or she may decide to get professional help at an authorized facility.
What are the Different Types of Depression?
This context throws light on different types of depression that exist. This will make people aware of the various nature of depression.
Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): Major depressive disorder or clinical depression shows chronic symptoms that have a negative impact on day-to-day activities in life. Moreover, the symptoms of this type of depression generally last longer than two weeks.
Perinatal and Postpartum Depression: Perinatal and postpartum depression is associated with childbirth and the time surrounded by this event. Many women experience depression during their pregnancy or even after having a baby. The symptoms of this mood disorder are more than just “the baby blues” and can cause extreme sadness, loss of confidence and anxiety.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): PMDD is associated with premenstrual disorder (PMS) and highlights severe symptoms. This type of depression occurs in women before the days or weeks leading to their menstrual cycle.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): The effect of seasonal affective disorder or seasonal depression usually starts around the fall and lasts until winter. However, in most cases, the effects start to fade out during the start of the spring or summer.
Bipolar Depression: In cases of people having bipolar depression, they experience two different periods of emotion – low moods and high energy. During their low time period, they will experience signs of depression and feel sad, overwhelmed, or hopeless. However, they will encounter no signs of hopelessness or hostility during the high-energetic period.
Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD): Persistent depressive disorder is also known as dysthymia. Though the signs of depression of this type are less detrimental than chronic ones, however, the effect of this type can stay up to a year or two.
Psychotic Depression: Individuals who encounter psychotic depression experience chronic signs of the disorder and, sometimes, hallucinations. Moreover, individuals become delusional and start imagining things that have no connection with reality.
If experiencing any of the above types of depression, one must seek professional treatment. It includes anti-depression meds, therapies, and group sessions conducted by mental health professionals. Also, family members must stay alert to identify the triggering signs of depression so that they can seek assistance from a licensed mental health professional at required time. Other procedures are discussed below.
Management and Treatment Procedure to Cure Depression
With the advancement of medical sciences and new treatment, methodologies followed, depression, no matter how severe it is, can be treated. Let us look into the following depression medications, treatment, and management procedures available to treat depression:
The most common way to cure depression is the prescription anti-depressant available. These medicines help improve brain function and its responses to mood fluctuations and stress. Usually, an anti-depressant takes 4 to 6 weeks to show results; however, one might need to try a few anti-depressants before getting the one that shows improvement.
It is important to note that individuals must not stop taking anti-depressant without consulting with the healthcare provider. As a result, people following the instruction as per the medical help may notice a significant improvement in terms of sleep, appetite, and concentration abilities.
Psychotherapies or talk therapy or counseling, is where an expert therapist tries to discover the causes of depression for an individual. By conducting regular and meaningful conversations with the individual with depression, the therapist aims to understand the pattern in the change of behavior and thinking process that leads to depression.
Some of the successful psychotherapies are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy (IPT).
Brain Stimulation Therapies
When anti-depression medicines do not show positive results in individuals, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a method that therapists opt for. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is proven to relieve people with chronic depression and is an effective first-line intervention in severe conditions.
Though ECT is a painless process, it may trigger some side effects in some people, like confusion, memory loss or disorientation. Mostly, these side effects are short-term; hence it is essential to perform this procedure under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Depression can be treated in multiple ways, and a recognized facility prescribes customized plans based on the individual. With proper support and medications, individuals will get a cure and relief from any emotional turmoil that is borne by depression. However, one needs to be patient and follow the guidelines diligently to speed up recovery.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is depression genetic?
Depression can arise due to both genetic and environmental causes linked to it. However, primarily clinical depression arises due to environmental factors that trigger grief or other emotions.
Do children suffer from depression?
The answer is yes. Children, like adults, can get depression due to the factors that affect their emotional stability.
What is the duration of the depression period?
As per different healthcare professionals, the preliminary effect of depression lasts up to 2 weeks to one month upon receiving treatment. Actually, the period through which depression lasts depends on a person and the treatment method he or she is receiving.
What are the traditional alternative treatments for depression?
Alternative traditional treatment for depression includes acupuncture, aromatherapy, yoga and meditation, exercise, herbal remedies, massage, and chiropractic care.
Can lack of sleep or insomnia lead to depression?
Generally, lack of sleep does not contribute to depression alone; however, it results in other problems that accentuate the effects of depression.