Everyone feels down from time to time, but many people experience persistent feelings of hopelessness without talking about it openly. Here are some signs that it may be time to reach out for help.
Lack of interest
One of the main signs of depression is lost interest in hobbies and social activities you used to enjoy. Playing an instrument or sport, watching a series or going out with friends may no longer be something you feel like doing. You may also struggle to keep up with household chores and work deadlines because of ongoing apathy and lost motivation to get tasks done.
While everyone feels sad from time to time, depression may cause a fundamental shift in your outlook. People living with depression often feel empty and hopeless, may cry easily and you may even notice a glazed-over look in their eyes or a hunched posture. It’s also common for people with depression to isolate themselves and hide their disposition from others.
Sleep problems and fatigue
Disrupted thought patterns can make it hard to fall or stay asleep. You may find that you wake up around 3am and can’t get back to sleep for a few hours, which can lead to oversleeping during the day. Never feeling rejuvenated or getting enough sleep can worsen mental health and lead to other health conditions. It can also continue the cycle of not feeling motivated to look after yourself.
Change in appetite
Depression can change your eating habits and cravings. It can go both ways. Some people with depression skip meals because of a lack of hunger or disinterest in cooking and taking care of themselves, while others could struggle with portion control, bingeing unhealthy foods and not following set mealtimes.
Lack of concentration
Depression may impact a person’s work, studies or social life because of persistent negative thoughts, lack of concentration and indecision. You may notice that they stare off blankly and struggle to keep up with usual activities.
Headaches can be common in people with depression because of a lack of sleep. You may also experience a tightness in your chest or heaviness in your legs. In severe instances, some people experience hair loss, brittle fingernails and back or stomach pain.
Irritability and mood swings
People with depression can interact with others as usual while feeling an emptiness inside. If you feel depressed but aren’t showing obvious signs to others, focus on how you feel when you’re alone. If you feel despair, loneliness, hopelessness or anxiety often while alone, it could be a sign of depression.
Recognising the signs of depression is the first step towards seeking help. If these signs resonate with you, reach out to a healthcare professional who can support you and discuss possible treatment options. Online doctor consults make it easier for you to speak with a healthcare professional about your concerns from the comfort of your home.