Major depressive disorder is one of the most common mental health disorders affecting the United States. For some people who live with the disorder day-to-day, it can interfere with their everyday lives and impact their ability to carry out basic activities.
Major depressive disorder is when a person experiences a loss of interest in things they once enjoyed for a period of two weeks or longer. A person with major depressive disorder remains depressed for this period and has at least four of the following symptoms:
- Sleep problems
- Loss of appetite or other eating issues
- Lack of energy
- Loss of concentration
- Problems with self-image or confidence
- Ongoing thoughts of death or suicide
While having only one or two of these symptoms may not be a cause for alarm, if you or someone you know suffers from four or more of these symptoms regularly, you should consider seeking help from a professional.
Five Warning Signs of Depression Everyone Should Know About
If you believe that you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, there are a few signs that can help validate your claims. Below, we detail five warning signs of depression.
1. Unexplained Pain
Depression does not simply affect a person’s mental health. It can also have a negative impact on a person’s physical well-being. For example, common warning signs of depression are the physical symptoms of unexplained aches and pains.
Arecent study on symptoms of depression showed that 69% of people who met the criteria for a depression diagnosis first visited their doctor for unexplained aches and pains. The most common complaints included joint pain, bloating, and backaches.
2. Inability to Concentrate
Almost everyone experiences some brain fog and forgetfulness. However, those who live with depression day-to-day often experience an extreme lack of focus. The lack of focus is often so bad that the person becomes unable to perform their everyday duties at work and at home. There may be periods where the person makes more mistakes than usual or has trouble making decisions.
3. Too Much or Too Little Sleep
Another warning sign of depression is not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep. Sleep disorders, such as insomnia, do not cause depression, but they can play a significant role in mood fluctuations and instability.
4. Change in Appetite
Depression can have a major impact on a person’s appetite. For some people, depression can cause them to eat more, while for other people, depression may cause a significant decrease in their appetite. Regardless of how depression affects a person’s appetite, a change in appetite is a symptom that can have a negative impact on a person’s physical well-being. Even if someone manages to lose weight during a period of depression, this occurrence is not a healthy form of weight loss.
5. Moodiness and Irritability
Just because someone has a snappy attitude does not mean that they are depressed. However, heightened or unexplained irritability is another sign of possible depression. If little things set off a person or they get agitated more often than usual, the person may suffer from depression.
A person’s moodiness and irritability can lead to thoughts of self-harm, suicidal thoughts, or the desire to cause harm to another person. If a person experiences any of those feelings, they should get immediate help from a health professional. If a person is in immediate danger, one should always call 911.