Depression is a common mental health disorder that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, or background. Here are some common signs and symptoms of depression to look out for:
- Persistent sadness or hopelessness: Feeling sad or down most of the time, or feeling like there’s no hope for the future.
- Loss of interest in activities: Losing interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyable.
- Changes in appetite or weight: Significant changes in appetite or weight, whether that means eating more or less than usual.
- Sleep disturbances: Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or sleeping more than usual.
- Fatigue or lack of energy: Feeling tired or drained most of the time, even after getting enough sleep.
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt: Feeling like you’re not good enough, or that everything is your fault.
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions: Having trouble focusing or making decisions, or feeling like your thoughts are slowed down.
- Suicidal thoughts: Having thoughts of harming yourself or ending your life.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare provider or mental health professional. Treatment for depression may include therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Some steps you can take to seek appropriate treatment include:
- Talk to your healthcare provider: Your primary care physician can help evaluate your symptoms and refer you to a mental health professional if necessary.
- Find a therapist: A mental health professional, such as a therapist or counselor, can help you work through your feelings and develop coping strategies.
- Consider medication: Antidepressant medication may be recommended in addition to therapy, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
- Build a support network: Reach out to friends and family for emotional support, and consider joining a support group for individuals with depression.