Depression commonly affects your thoughts, your emotions, your behaviors and your overall physical health. Here are some of the most common symptoms that point to the presence of depression:
Loss of interest in friends, family, and favorite activities
Loss of interest or reduced interest in sex
Trouble making decisions
Thoughts of harming yourself
Delusions and/or hallucinations can also occur in cases of severe depression
Withdrawing from people
Missing work, school or other commitments
Attempts to harm yourself
Tiredness or lack of energy
Unexplained aches and pains
Changes in appetite
Changes in sleep – sleeping too little or too much
Most people will experience one or more of these symptoms on occasion. Having one or two of these symptoms does not constitute depression. Having several of these symptoms occurring regularly for two weeks or longer likely indicates depression and can impact multiple areas of one’s life including relationships, work, school, overall functioning, and well-being.
The good news is depression can be treated and most individuals suffering from depression can be treated using a combination of therapy, increasing physical activity, increasing positive social supports, changing one’s thinking and behavior patterns, and in some cases utilizing medication. If you believe you may be experiencing depression or have a loved one who is I would encourage you to reach out for help. Life is too short to spend suffering when treatment options are available.