It’s normal to experience feelings of sadness, depression or anxiety from time to time. In fact, these feelings are often healthy and can teach us life lessons. What’s not normal, however, is to be so sad that you can’t seem to pull yourself out of your funk. Unless you have professional training, it can be difficult to determine if you are merely sad or experiencing a true bought of depression. Here are five most common signs of depression.
5 Most Common Sign of Depression
Unhappiness, or feelings of sadness, is one of the most common signs of depression, but also the signs that are most easily ignored. Feeling sad from time to time, particularly when there is good cause for sadness, is typical. What is atypical is a feeling of unhappiness that lasts for several weeks or more. If something has negatively impacted your life, you should be able to deal with it and move on. If you find yourself stuck in a general state of sadness, you may be experiencing depression.
It’s normal to be tired because it’s time for bed or because you’ve over-exerted yourself. It’s not normal, however, to be tired all day, every day. If you experience an overwhelming sense of fatigue, often coupled with an inability to sleep, you may be depressed. You should also know that people who are depressed may sleep for excessive amounts of time. If you rarely sleep or sleep excessively, you may be more than just sad.
3. Lack of Interest
When you lose interest in the things that you used to consider fun or entertaining, you could be experiencing depression. When you’re sad, you may not feel like going out on Friday night with your friends, heading out on the town with your partner or even reading the next chapter in the fantastic book sitting on your nightstand. When you’re depressed, your disinterest feels all-consuming; it’s not that you don’t want to go out this Friday night, it’s that you don’t want to go out any Friday night.
People who are depressed often can’t switch their minds off of the things that are bothering them. They may also concentrate their thinking on perceived past failures. If you find that you are blaming yourself for things that you had no realistic control over, are fixated on things that have already happened or can’t turn your mind off of your problems for any length of time, you may want to seek a professional diagnosis.
5. Mental Changes
Mental changes are also common signs of depression. Mental changes can often easily distinguish sadness from depression. People who are depressed often find that they are unable to concentrate, are agitated, are irritable and have trouble recalling information. People experiencing depression are also prone to angry outbursts, difficulty making decisions and slowed thinking.
If you aren’t sure if you are sad or depressed, or if any of the above described common signs of depression apply to you, you should seek the help of a professional immediately. Most people are not able to sure themselves of depression on their own, making the assistance of a professional necessary.
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Author Nancy Meyers writes for education blogs where you can read more about Top 10 Best Online Mental Health Degree Programs.
Photo: Helga Weber