Some days, we may feel sad. Perhaps we’ve had a rough day or have recently lost someone close to us. Maybe we’ve gone through a break up or we’re shaken by circumstances happening around us. There are many reasons why we might feel sad, but what happens when this sadness becomes overwhelming? If you or someone you know is experiencing a lack of motivation that we can’t seem to overcome, they might be experiencing depression.
Depression is a complex mental illness that falls into the category of mood disorders. It’s complex because each person’s symptoms can look different, can vary in intensity and can last for different lengths of time. But how do you know if you or someone you know is living with depression? Here are some early warning signs to look out for.
Emotional Warning Signs
Some common emotional signs of depression can include feelings of sadness, hopelessness and emptiness. It might be impossible to control negative thoughts or inexplicable fears and there might be a feeling of overwhelming guilt or shame. While these feelings might come to all of us from time to time, if they appear without explanation or don’t seem to fade, they could be a sign of depression.
Image: Carley Comartin
Physical Warning Signs
Our bodies and our minds are extremely interconnected, so when symptoms of depression arise, they might actually show up in the body. Physical warning signs of depression to look for can include an inability to sleep or constant fatigue, lack of appetite or binge eating or inexplicable aches and pains.
Relational Warning Signs
Relational warning signs of depression include how we interact with others. If this significantly changes for you or someone you know, then this could be a symptom of depression. Examples include becoming extremely irritable and easily angered, cutting off close ties and friendships or becoming more isolated.
Any and all of these signs are important to take seriously if you observe them in yourself or in someone else. Be sure to reach out and get professional support if you do. There’s always someone there ready to help.
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