If you’re having trouble recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression, you’re not alone. We often think of depression as a condition where you are incapacitated by sadness and hopelessness.
Although these symptoms are common to those suffering from depression, they are not the only signs of depression.
Indeed, there are many that, on the surface, you wouldn’t automatically associate as being connected to depression. Thus, you are unable to realize what is happening.
So, how do you recognize depression?
Keep on reading to learn more about its signs and symptoms.
1. Losing Interest in What Matters Most
One important sign of depression is a loss of interest in things and activities that you once enjoyed.
For example, let’s say that you were once passionate about gardening. In fact, you couldn’t stand not spending at least part of your day outside working on the garden. Yet, now, you find it hard to even consider gardening anymore.
Granted, we all cycle through activities throughout our lives, and that’s what can make it hard to realize the connection to depression. The thing is, with a normal cycle those activities you stop doing are usually replaced by new ones.
However, if you lose interest in something that you have enjoyed doing for a long time, that may be different. It could be a sign that you are struggling with depression.
2. Feeling Tired and Lacking Energy
Another symptom of depression is experiencing a lack of energy and feeling tired. This is less known than more common symptoms such as sadness and hopelessness.
In fact, feeling tired could be confused for other problems. For example, tiredness is also a symptom of anemia (low iron levels in the blood). And therefore, the real culprit for your lack of energy may stay hidden.
In other cases, people may think that all you need is some cheering up or some fresh air to get the wind back in your sails. Although they may mean well, this doesn’t necessarily solve your problem of feeling tired at all. Indeed, you migh
t even resent these efforts to cheer you up.
3. Putting the Blame All On Yourself
People with depression may often feel guilty about something from their past. They may blame themselves for what happened and seem to just be locked in that moment in time.
For instance, a person who was involved in a terrible accident may question their decisions leading up to that mo
ment. Also, they may blame themselves for any harm caused by others. Even if they find out later that the accident was not their fault, they will continue to feel guilty.
This weight of blame and guilt creates, over time, shame. And shame can have a tremendous influence on your personal outlook and contribute to depression.
4. Masking the Depression with an Addiction
It should come as no surprise that many people who struggle with depression also are caught in the grasp of addiction. Why?
For one thing, using drugs or alcohol serves to distract the sufferer from their depression. At least temporarily, they are no longer burdened by those down-dragging feelings. Instead, they are transported to a euphoric high.
It’s no wonder that many who have depression seek relief in substances that can make them feel “better.” However, if substance abuse is present it makes it not just harder to treat the depression but also harder to detect it in the first place.
5. Lashing Out in Anger
Strong emotions such as anger are always complicated. That’s because what you see on the surface doesn’t always reflect the reality beneath. Lashing out in anger at someone may actually be a way of protecting oneself. From what?
How about the risk of someone getting close. Or revealing what you are truly feeling. Plus, if you are depressed, you are already in a low mood, to begin with. The anger only reinforces those negative feelings that you are holding in.
At the same time, anger outburst can mask depression since most people don’t associate an angry person with a depressed person.
Once you understand the signs and symptoms of depression, it makes it easier to identify the problem and take the next step. That means getting help from a professional therapist, preferably an expert in depression treatment. With the right treatment, you can be free of depression.
If you would like to find out how I can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact me.