While being glum is a major symptom of depression, it takes a lot more to have a mental health diagnosis of depression. You may know someone showing the symptoms without realizing they are depressed. It is important to be aware of all of the actions that you or someone else shows so that you know when treatment is to be seeked.
One sign to look out for is if you are eating too much or too little. It is common for people to “eat their feelings” in that they may feel upset and have trouble telling people about it. Food is accessible and tastes good so we feel comforted while eating it. Eating too much can be really bad for your health as it can lead to massive weight gain; especially if you are eating a lot of fast food because of how cheap and quick it is to acquire. Eating too little can also be a depressive symptom since depression can make your stomach hurt and you feel like you have lost your appetite. This can lead an unhealthy weight loss that leaves you less energized.
Another sign of depression that is often ignored is isolation. Maybe you used to hang out with your friends and family all the time until one day for no reason you felt like closing yourself off. If you or someone you know is always locking themselves in their bedroom or the bathroom or another part of the house, it means that they want to avoid interaction at all costs. This can mean not answering texts, phone calls, emails, or updating on social media if this is something that you had a tendency of doing. It is not typical to never want to see any people; especially if you use to have a great time with people in the past. Maybe you or that person feels like they do not want to burden anyone with their problems so they would rather stay hidden.
People who are depressed also have stomach issues. The brain tends to communicate with the stomach in that it tells the stomach whether or not you are full or hungry. If you are losing those feel-good hormones, your stomach can react to that by causing diarrhea or frequent trips to the bathroom. This can cause you to spend more of your time in the bathroom than anywhere. Acid reflux is another problem where stress can cause your stomach to develop too much acid and can shoot up the throat. This can lead to ulcers, gas, and belching. While being depressed can mean you are sad, it can also mean that you are angry as well. You could be having angry outbursts where you do or say things that you would not normally say. Your body does not know what to do with all of that anger that you feel you cannot hold it all in anymore.
You may also notice yourself or someone else getting a lot headaches. Your muscles tighten which can also make your head throb. Many people may just say that these constant headaches are just part of the aging process and may dismiss them. If you are experiencing these ongoing headaches for more than two weeks, you should see a healthcare professional. Your heart is also affected by depression where you may feel like your heart is beating more than usual. It can either be racing or you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster.
Sleeping is another symptom ignored where you may be sleeping more than usual. You do not have a reason to sleep this much whether you work a typical morning to evening shift or if you are not working at all. You just prefer to stay in your bed and not get up from it. By sleeping too much and having little movement, your energy for the rest of the day is very low. Because your hormones and cortisol have increased and your senses are going into overdrive, you also might be more sensitive to sound. When you hear kids outside shouting or the sound of the blaring lawn mower, you feel like you can no longer tolerate the noises anymore.
Memory loss can be another symptom where you forget what someone said to you or important information that you had no trouble remembering before. It is because your mind is so tired and run down since you are lacking essential chemicals needed to make you feel good. Sweating is another factor in that you had too much adrenaline running through your veins.
If you see any of these symptoms in yourself or a loved one such as if they are hurting themselves or seem withdrawn from the world, get professional help such as the nearest emergency room or a local or private mental health provider. Do not be quiet as you will let these symptoms persist and get worse that way. If this is happening to someone else, talk to them in a calm, non-judgmental way that you are noticing certain traits about them that are different. Do not leave that person alone even if they order you to. The signs of depression can either be clearly obvious or things that may seem little could be a big deal later. If you or someone else is experiencing suicidal thoughts or harming themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 (TALK).
Located in Tacoma, Washington, Bayview Center’s mission is to offer clinically-driven programs and services to treat a number of substance abuse disorders along with anxiety and depression using cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, yoga therapy, and more for a successful recovery. For more information, please call us 1-888-570-7154 at as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.