Depression is when you feel sad for a very long time. Here are the signs of depression you must not ignore.

In the hustle and bustle of life, we often get so busy that we forget to pay heed to our mental health. We ignore the signs of sadness or anxiety just because we’re too busy doing other or thinking that it’s a phase that will pass. But sometimes, these feelings linger longer than you expect and your thoughts end up like a huge dark cloud over you that makes everything seem gloomy. Ignoring your mental health should never an option as it can lead to severe consequence. One of the most common mental health problems is depression. You must pay attention if you experience any signs of depression.

What is depression?

Depression is a common mental health condition. The core symptoms are pervasive low mood or sadness, feeling tired (without obvious physical illness) and inability to enjoy previously pleasurable activities. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it affects 5-10 percent of adults and is more common in women.

It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. Also, it is not something you can snap out of, it is a common medical condition that requires treatment and your attention.

What are the signs of depression?

Depression is a medical condition that makes you feel sad for a long period but that’s not the only symptom you may experience. Here are the signs of depression you should never ignore:

1. Hopelessness

People suffering from depression may have feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. It could be accompanied by inappropriate guilt and loneliness. If you have been feeling hopeless, consult a mental health expert immediately.

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Feeling hopeless is the first signs of depression. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Loss of interest

Have you been losing interest in activities that you once enjoyed? Depression can suck the enjoyment of most moments in life.

3. Changes in weight

Sudden weight loss or weight gain both are signs that someone is suffering from depression. If your weight keeps fluctuating and you don’t have a reason why it happens, it could be because you are suffering from depression.

4. Loss of appetite

One moment you feel hungry and the other you don’t want to grab a bite because you don’t feel like it! Is this something you experience quite often? If yes, you could be suffering from depression. Weight and appetite may keep changing for people with depression.

5. Fatigue

Fatigue is another symptom of depression, and it can get worse if left untreated. Depression can cause severe fatigue and make it difficult for you to do the most basic things. Sleep problems, stress, diet, or certain medications can also lead to depression fatigue.

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6. Inability to concentrate or make decisions

Not being able to make any decisions is one of the most common psychological symptoms of depression that you may experience. If you have not been able to focus on things around you, let alone make any decision, you need to get in touch with your doctor to know for sure.

7. Restlessness

Restlessness is when you are unable to relax, either due to anxiety or boredom. People with depression can affect you mentally or physically, causing you to become restless and fidgety.

8. Unexplained pains

Do you experience a lot of headaches? Or stomach aches? People with depression tend to experience different types of pain in any part of the body. It can affect your muscles, joints, back, and more. Don’t ignore any persistent pain if you may experience any.

9. Guilt

Do you feel guilty without any particular reason? While feeling guilty about something once in a while happens to everyone, feeling guilty all the time can be a sign of depression.

10. Suicidal thoughts

People with depression have thought of suicide and may even try committing suicide. This medical condition has also been linked to a higher risk of suicide.

How to prevent depression?

If you think you are at risk of having depression, here are some ways to prevent depression:

  • If you feel stressed, try doing activities like meditation and yoga to handle it and improve your self-esteem.
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle which includes eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly.
  • Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs
  • Get medical checkups done regularly to avoid it from getting worse.
  • Spend more time with your loved ones.
  • Look out for things that make you feel bad about yourself and make sure you tell your healthcare provider about it.
  • Don’t make decisions on a day when you are not feeling well.
  • Talk to your doctor about the symptoms you’re experiencing to avoid consequences.

Is there a treatment for depression?

Yes, there are several effective treatments that may help you deal with depression, including:

1. Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy helps address the underlying causes of depression, learn coping skills, and develop strategies that help manage symptoms.

2. Medication

Your doctor may prescribe antidepressant medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) that can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Making lifestyle changes

You should make positive lifestyle changes that can help you manage the symptoms of depression. Regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting proper sleep, practising stress-reduction techniques, and avoiding alcohol and drugs are some ways to manage depressive symptoms.

gym ball exercises
Exercise everyday to avoid signs of depression. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

4. Support groups

Joining a support group or participating in group therapy can provide a sense of community, understanding, and encouragement from others who are experiencing similar challenges.

5. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)

In cases where depression is severe or resistant to other treatments, ECT or TMS may be recommended. These procedures involve the use of electrical currents or magnetic fields to stimulate specific areas of the brain and can be effective in alleviating symptoms for some individuals.

Now that you know the signs of depression, you should talk openly about mental health and break the stigma to get what you deserve and that’s happiness!



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