Depression; the word everyone knows, but no one wants to talk about. With more than 350 million people around the globe experiencing this devastating problem, why are we so afraid to look at it?
Someone you know and love could be suffering from depression, but they are hiding it from the world. No one wants to feel like a burden on others; so many people hide their true feelings. Others feel as if there is a stigma attached to depression, while others worry that they won’t be taken seriously. Regardless of their reason for doing so, many people simply stay quiet, hoping it will pass, and they suffer needlessly.
You might even be suffering from depression yourself and not even realize it. If you recognize the following 5 telltale signs of depression in yourself or in a loved one, don’t wait! You don’t need to suffer needlessly. Depression is a physical change in the brain, although it gives us certain feelings, it isn’t a feeling that can be reasoned with or that can improve with therapy or time. You or your loved one isn’t “weak” for having this problem. You would never say that someone suffering from Alzheimer’s was weak, so why would you think that of someone suffering from depression?
Keep reading and see if any of the following signs or habits applies to you or someone you know and love. Once recognized, depression can be treated in many cases.
- Loss of Interest in Activities Previously Enjoyed
One sure fire giveaway is discovering that you or a loved one suddenly has no interest ,or finds no pleasure, in activities or places they once previously enjoyed. If you previously loved to go ice skating, but now the thought of even leaving the house just doesn’t seem worth the effort, you are very likely depressed.
- Loss of Appetite or Ravenous Hunger
Of course, a loss of appetite can be a sign of something other than depression, but in combination with other symptoms on this list, it is also a sign of depression. Similar to a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, a lack of interest in food can be a warning sign of depression. The same is true of an increase in appetite. Eating for no reason other than an attempt to make yourself feel better can also be a sign of concealed depression.
- Regular Bouts of Insomnia
Of course, assuming you aren’t going through menopause, insomnia can be a sign of many other things (such as intense stress at work or worry about the health of a loved one) however, if you have no other reasons for insomnia but find that you either cannot fall asleep or stay asleep on a regular basis, you might have concealed depression. An estimated 80 percent of adults who suffer from depression have trouble sleeping.
- Wanting to be Alone
People who are suffering from depression have a lack of interest in just about everything; friends, family, activities, even pets they once adored. If you or a loved one turns down social activities or plans most of the time, preferring to be alone, you might have depression and not know it.
- Saying “I’m Fine”
Many people try to hide the fact that they are depressed. They often become very skilled at covering up how they really feel with fake smiles, forced laughter, and replying with “I’m fine” to just about every question about themselves. They don’t want to burden others or they fear the stigma of depression. Others are actually embarrassed about their feelings and believe that they should “snap out of it”. If you notice some of the behaviors above, coupled with someone who always says that they are fine, they might be suffering from depression, but don’t know how, or don’t want to, ask for help.
Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in America and it can interfere with your daily life. In our next article, we will discuss some natural ways that you can try to help fight back against depression.