Feeling sad is a normal part of life. But after a day or two, you should start to feel better. If you struggle with long-lasting sadness that affects your appetite, sleep patterns, and overall well-being, you might be struggling with depression.
Our doctors at Apex Medical Center want you to know that you’re not alone. Nearly 16.2 million adults in the United States report having one major depressive episode in a given year. This represents almost 7% of all adults in the U.S. The good news is that depression is treatable.
Let’s discuss some of the most common symptoms of depression.
What is depression?
Depression is a deep level of sadness. You may suffer from anxiety, feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, or pessimism. You might be irritable and struggle with feelings of worthlessness or helplessness. If these feelings have lasted for two weeks or more, it may be depression.
Sometimes there’s a reason for sadness to start, such as the loss of a loved one. Sadness is a typical part of the grief process, but it there are no apparent reasons for your feelings of deep sadness, you may be dealing with depression, and you should seek help.
While depression is different from person to person, there are a few things that many people experience. Let’s discuss a few of the most common signs of depression.
Little interest in activities
Do you find yourself going through the motions and finding little joy or pleasure in activities? With depression, things you once enjoyed -- like spending time with family and engaging in hobbies or other activities -- may no longer bring you the joy and excitement they used to. This is a normal part of depression.
Fatigue and sleep changes
Fatigue alone can be related to many different health issues. But when it’s coupled with other symptoms on this list, it may be a sign of depression. You may also notice changes in your sleep patterns, like difficulty falling and staying asleep or sleeping too much each day.
No matter how much sleep you get, you may lack energy and motivation. Concentrating, remembering, or making decisions may be more difficult than normal. You might also feel restless or have difficulty sitting still during the day.
When depression hits, it can make significant changes in your eating habits. You might have no appetite and go all day without eating. Or you might overeat in an attempt to quiet the sadness. Your eating habits can affect your weight, causing you to gain or lose weight depending on your appetite changes.
Feeling unwell or sick
Struggling with depression can cause you to feel sick. Common physical symptoms include headaches, cramps, aches, or stomach issues. If you have these symptoms and there isn’t a clear physical cause, and usual treatments don’t make the symptoms go away, this may be part of your depression.
Depression can lead to dark thoughts, which may include harming yourself or others or general thoughts of death. Thoughts can lead to actions, like taking more risks than normal or actually harming yourself.
If you’re struggling with any of these symptoms, it may be time to come in to see a provider from our team of doctors, physician assistants, and a nurse practitioner. During your appointment, they discuss your symptoms with you and create a treatment plan to help you feel like yourself again. You can book online or call to make your appointment.