Depression – more formally referred to as Major Depressive Disorder – impacts more than 17 million American adults in just one given year.
Depression is a serious medical condition most often characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness. It can require long-term care and treatment and can even lead to suicidal thoughts and actions.
If you recognize any of the following signs of depression in someone you know, encourage them to seek assistance.
1. Loss of Interest
Someone who is depressed may lose interest in the things they once enjoyed doing. An individual may no longer enjoy the things they once loved.
2. Feelings of Fatigue
While depression commonly goes hand-in-hand with feelings and emotions, those emotions can be draining. Depressed individuals often lack energy and notice overwhelming fatigue.
Those struggling with depression may have adopted a very hopeless outlook on life. Their general thoughts can include, “what’s the point?” and “things will never change.”
4. Decreased Sex Drive
Just like someone may lose interest in other hobbies and activities, this same person may also lose interest in sex and even experience impotence.
5. Weight Loss or Gain
Clinical depression can either decrease someone’s appetite or lead to overeating. So, significant weight loss or weight gain can point to a problem.
6. Irregular Sleep
For some, depression can look like consistent oversleeping. For others, the illness can cause insomnia, restless nights, and early-morning wakeups.
7. Trouble Concentrating
Depression can make it difficult for someone to concentrate. A person with depression may lose their train of thought frequently or have trouble making decisions.
Mood swings are common for people with depression. Even small issues can lead to angry outbursts or significant frustration.
9. Unexplained Physical Problems
Those struggling with depression may have unexplainable physical problems, such as persistent headaches or back pain.
10. Thoughts or Attempts of Suicide
Typically, the most severe cases of depression can lead to suicidal thoughts, comments, and even attempts. These signs are serious and require immediate medical intervention.