Depression is one of the most common mental health concerns in the United States. One in 10 adults report experiencing it. Most people try to find a way to mask their depression, but that can be more harmful than helpful in the long run. It’s common to feel confusion, shame and guilt when experiencing depression.
Depression’s symptoms can vary from person to person. Someone’s gender, culture, or age may change how they experience depression. Yet most forms of depression include these common symptoms:
- Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
- Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- Reduced sex drive
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
- Angry outbursts
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Indecisiveness, distractibility, and decreased concentration
- Fatigue, tiredness, and loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
- Crying spells for no apparent reason
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
- For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it’s obvious something isn’t right. Other people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why
As depression can take many forms, it’s best to consult with a trained professional to get a better understanding of your experience of depression and what treatment options will be best for you. Trying to self diagnose or self medicate may lead you down the path that you are trying to avoid.
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