By Patti Richards
It’s a bright sunny morning, but you can’t see anything but clouds. You try to get out of bed, but your legs feel heavy and taking even one step is exhausting. You hear your family laughing, but the distance between your room and the kitchen seems like a thousand miles. If you could explain to your loved ones what hurts and how you are feeling, maybe they would understand. But that’s the problem — You don’t feel anything.
If this story sounds like a day in your life or the life of a loved one, depression may be the culprit.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression can be as unique as those who are diagnosed with the disorder. Each person experiences depression within the context of their own lives, bodies, thoughts and behavior patterns. This means that while depression comes with sets of signs and symptoms, a person does not have to experience all of them to be diagnosed. And in some cases, a person struggling with this form of mental illness may experience unique symptoms not on the most generalized lists.
Some of the most common symptoms of depression include the following:
- Feeling sad, empty or anxious. These feelings continue over time without getting better.
- Feeling helpless, worthless and guilty, and focusing on losses or failures.
- Feeling hopeless and as if nothing good will ever happen again. Hopelessness is often accompanied by thoughts of suicide.
- Increased irritability without reason.
- Less interest in favorite hobbies, games or activities that you normally enjoy, including eating or having sex.
- Lack of energy, extreme tiredness and the inability to think clearly or quickly. Even daily activities seem impossible.
- Lack of concentration and focus, making it difficult to make even the simplest decisions.
- Changes in sleep patterns — Sleeping more than usual or not sleeping at all.
- Changes in appetite or eating patterns — Little to no appetite or overeating for comfort.
- Unexplained aches or pains, including headaches, cramps, upset stomach or other digestive problems.1
Depression symptoms can also surface as a result of other medical conditions or as a side effect of medications. If you are experiencing the symptoms of depression and are being treated for another medical condition, it’s important to tell your doctor right away.
Finding Treatment for Depression
If you or a loved one struggles with depression, we are here for you. Call our toll-free helpline to learn more about how medical conditions, medications and drugs or alcohol may be impacting your or a loved one’s mental health. We are here 24 hours a day to connect you to the professionals and integrated treatment programs that offer a fresh, healthy and happy start to recovery.
1 “What Are the Causes and Symptoms of Depression?” WebMD, WebMD, 8 Apr. 2016.
2 “Six common depression types.” Harvard Health Publishing, Jan. 2017.
3 Burton, Neel. “The 7 Reasons Why Depression is More Common in Women.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 17 May 2012.
4 “Male depression: Understanding the issues.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 17 May 2016.