7 Warning Signs It Is Time to Seek Professional Help for Your Depression
Depression can have a devastating effect on people’s lives and has serious consequences, so it is important to know its symptoms. Addressing them head on with the help of a mental health professional can stop depression from taking over. Here are seven symptoms of depression to look out for so you can decide if you or a loved one need help.
1. Loss of concentration, interest in hobbies, or motivation
Depression has the ability to suck the pleasure out of previously joyous activities. Better Health notes that libido is often one of the things most severely affected by depression. However, less carnal matters can also be impacted. A loss of interest in your existing hobbies (photography, sports, socializing with friends, etc.) is one sign you are depressed. Similarly, people often lose motivation or find themselves unable to handle otherwise routine tasks at work or around the home.
2. Anxiety, anger, or irritability
When your own emotions are in overdrive, you may find it difficult to deal with others. That is why anger, irritability, and a short temper are also signs that a person may be depressed. This symptom is especially common in men and can result in others not recognizing the underlying issue of depression. Women, meanwhile, are more prone to showing their depression through sadness or anxiety.
3. Changes in weight
Diets and eating habits often change when a person is dealing with depression. Some find comfort in food and overeat. Many do the opposite and lose weight because they have no appetite or motivation to eat.
Sleep is important to your health, both physically and mentally. Insomnia and depression are intertwined. One can make the other worse, especially when a person begins relying on sleeping pills. Both can be treated, but only if someone recognizes the issue and addresses it head on.
5. Fatigue, unexplained aches and pains, digestive problems
While depression is often seen as a mental and emotional condition, it often manifests with physical symptoms, including fatigue, unexplained aches and pains, headaches, or digestive problems. A doctor should rule out other causes before attributing these symptoms to depression, but they can indeed be caused by depression.
6. Risky behaviors
Depression often leads people to reckless behavior. Sometimes this means physically harming themselves or putting themselves in dangerous situations. That can mean having unprotected sex with multiple partners or constantly starting fights with strangers. It can also mean using drugs or alcohol to self-medicate. There is a high correlation between depression and addiction. If you are dependent on drugs or alcohol, it may be beneficial to seek inpatient treatment for addiction. That treatment will, no doubt, address your depression.
7. A preoccupation with death
Feeling jealous that somebody else died rather than you. Fixating on ways you could take your own life. Believing that your friends and loved ones would be better off without you in their world. These things are not healthy and are one of the biggest warning signs you should seek help for depression.
Only a mental health professional can diagnose and treat depression, addiction, or related issues. If you feel there is something off, seek the counsel of a therapist or other mental health professional. If you’re a senior, check your Medicare policy to see if therapy and counseling are covered. Many Medicare Advantage plans cover a wide range of counseling services.
This list is not all-inclusive. Depression manifests itself in a variety of ways depending on factors such as age, gender, culture, and background. If you think you or a loved one is suffering with depression, make sure to reach out for help.
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by Melissa Howard of stopsuicide.info