Did you know over 18% of American adults struggle with depression each year? Yet despite the fact that 40 million people suffer from the sometimes debilitating effects of this common mental health disorder, only about one-third receive treatment. That’s why knowing the signs of depression is so important.
Depression is a mood disorder typically described as feelings of sadness, emptiness, anger, or loss that negatively impact a person’s everyday life. It can also cause physical symptoms and a loss of interest in things you once enjoyed.
At Tim Martin M.D., our providers Tim Martin, MD, and Freddie Johnston, NP, give exceptional medical care to patients of all ages in Abilene, Texas. Using a preventive approach to treatment, we’re committed to helping our patients take control of their own health through education and customized treatment plans.
As part of our wellness care, we routinely screen for depression. But you know yourself and your loved ones well and may spot signs of depression. Here are five common signs of depression to watch for.
1. Feeling tired and/or having trouble sleeping
Feeling tired all the time? Struggling with sleep? These are common yet frequently overlooked signs of depression. Depression can cause you to feel like you have no energy and feel like you’re drained. Completing your everyday tasks may be exhausting or take longer than usual.
Some people with depression struggle with insomnia and find it difficult to sleep or wake too early in the morning. Other people sleep more often than usual and struggle to get out of bed. All of these feelings indicate you could have depression.
2. Loss of interest
If you notice that you no longer care about things you used to enjoy, including sex and social activities, it could be a sign of depression. Depression can make it almost impossible to experience real feelings of happiness, joy, and pleasure. This leads to a loss of interest or withdrawal from activities you used to look forward to doing. It can also reduce your sex drive and lead to impotence in men.
3. Feeling helpless or hopeless
People suffering from depression often have a bleak outlook and a sense of hopelessness or helplessness because they feel as though they have no control over their situation. Sometimes this manifests as feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, or extreme guilt or self-blame.
If you find yourself believing everything is your fault or that there’s no point in trying to do things differently or hear a loved one vocalizing these thoughts, it could be a sign of depression.
4. Changes in your weight or appetite
People with depression often experience significant changes in their appetite or weight. Different people experience these changes in different ways. Some people may find themselves eating more frequently and gaining weight. Others lose their appetites and begin to lose weight without trying.
If you or a loved one have gained or lost weight without intending and find your appetite has changed, talk to Dr. Martin or nurse practitioner Freddie Johnston about depression.
5. Mood swings
Though most people think of depression as feelings of sadness, depression can actually cause a host of emotions. For some people with depression, these emotions are uncontrollable and cause mood swings. You may find yourself crying and sad one minute then filled with anger the next. These mood swings could be a sign of depression.
Although everyone experiences some of the symptoms at one time or another, for people with depression their symptoms interfere with their day-to-day activities. Sometimes, however, you may be able to carry out your responsibilities, but feel unmotivated, miserable, and generally unhappy for no particular reason.
It’s important to note that symptoms can present differently in young children, teens, and older adults. There are also differences with depression symptoms between men and women, and some people have physical symptoms, like headaches, back pain, and digestive issues.
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one has depression, it’s important to discuss your concerns with your provider at Tim Martin M.D. Contact our Abilene, Texas, office, or book an appointment online now! We also now offer telemedicine, so you can visit your provider from the comfort of your own home.