Patients and their families and caregivers can practice some forms of self-care to reduce their stress. The following are a few warning signs of depression. If you think you might have any of these signs, talk to your doctor about diagnosis and treatment options.
Feelings of hopelessness or despair
Feeling depressed occasionally is normal, but feelings of hopelessness and despair all or most of the time may be a sign of depression.
Loss of interest in hobbies
If hobbies that were previously important and enjoyable to you now feel like chores and don’t garner your interest any longer, or if it’s hard to connect with friends and family, you could be showing signs of depression.
Weight and appetite changes
Rapid changes in weight — either loss or gain — can indicate that something else is wrong. Depression may cause some people to lose their appetite, and others to have an increased appetite for unhealthy or “comfort” foods.
Depression can cause insomnia (problems with falling or staying asleep), or difficulty in waking up.
Feelings of agitation or restlessness, or being on the verge of losing your temper over minor things can be signs of depression.
Guilt or self-loathing
Another sign of depression is feeling guilty for no reason or self-loathing, either expressed internally or when talking to others.
Trouble focusing on problems or tasks, and forgetfulness can all be signs of depression.
Aches or pains
Depression can cause physical symptoms, such as back aches, stomach pains, neck and shoulder tension, or general achiness.
Depression is a major risk factor for suicide. If you have suicidal thoughts, seek help as soon as possible. In the U.S., the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24-hour support by phone (dial 1-800-273-8255), text, or online chat.
Last updated: Sept. 26, 2019
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