When left untreated, depression can cause serious harm to your health, social life and professional life. In some cases, it can even lead to death. Watch out for these seven common signs in yourself ... and those you love.
Are your feelings of sadness and discouragement just common feelings, or do they hint at something more serious? Read through these warning signs of depression and see for yourself:
1. Deep sadness
We all feel sad and discouraged from time to time. Sometimes we don't even want to get out of bed and go to work. Instances of sadness (and not wanting to go to work on Mondays) are normal. But long periods of intense and frequent sadness that affect your daily life hint towards depression. If your feelings of sadness also include feeling lonely, crying, isolation and hopelessness, address your concerns with your doctor.
Depression often causes problems sleeping - WebMD reports that 15 percent sleep too much, but as much as 80 percent of those with depression have trouble falling (or staying) asleep. New research even suggests that problems sleeping can be an early warning sign of depression in some people. Paying attention to your sleeping habits can help clue you into a correct diagnosis, so you can get the treatment you need.
3. Negative thoughts
"Everyone hates me," "I can't do anything right," "I'm a failure" and "I'm ugly/fat/dumb" are all phrases you should never say to yourself, but commonly, those with depression also suffer pervasive negative thoughts.
4. Disinterest and apathy
People with depression lose complete interest in people, working, having fun and life in general. If your feelings of sadness and loneliness are preventing you from living a normal and healthy life (like participating in your hobbies and being around people you love), that's a warning sign of depression.
5. Low self-esteem
Low self-esteem generates anxiety, fear and depression. A person with shaken self-esteem feels inferior and unworthy of those around them - physically and intellectually. These feelings can lead to more feelings of isolation and a deepening sense of loneliness.
A person with depression will sometimes lose their drive to get dressed, shower, get ready for the day or put effort into their appearance. Along with an unwillingness to get out of bed and face the world, those with depression frequently lose the will to make an effort.
7. Physical pain
In addition to deep sadness, depression manifests itself physically through various types of pain. The most common symptoms are:
If you're experiencing any of these seven symptoms, please seek a professional immediately. Depression isn't something that will just "go away". Therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists are happy to help you and set you on your way to happiness. Depression is a serious, yet often silent illness. Don't fall victim to such a silent suffering - you deserve all the happiness in the world.
Erika Strassburger is Brazilian, mother of three cute and funny boys. She earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration 20 years ago. Now, she works as a freelance writer and translator. She loves oil painting and ventures sometimes in this artistic work.