8 Telltale Signs You May Be Suffering from Depression

Dec 05, 2023

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It’s no secret that depression can cause profound feelings of sadness. But it can also manifest in other ways — and they’re often overlooked. Here’s what you should know about this complex condition so you won’t miss the signs of a problem.

Depression is a very common and highly treatable medical condition. However, many people don’t seek help because they don’t even realize that’s what they’re experiencing. It’s also often under-diagnosed and misdiagnosed in non-white people. 

Unfortunately, depression symptoms can continue to worsen and become more intense without treatment.

So, how do you know if you have depression?

Our Associates in Behavioral Science team understands that depression looks different from person to person. It can also interfere with every aspect of your daily life since it affects how you feel, think, behave, and even interact with others.

While depression can certainly cause a profoundly depressed mood, the signs of a problem can vary significantly among individuals. That’s why our team recommends watching for these eight telltale signs of the condition.

1. Loss of interest

There’s more to depression than feelings of sadness. It can also cause someone to lose pleasure or enjoyment in things they once loved.

If you have less interest in or withdraw from your favorite activities — like hobbies, sports, or spending time with friends — it could be time to schedule an appointment. 

Depression can also cause people to feel disconnected from themselves or their surroundings, creating a sense of unreality.

2. Anxiety

You may associate depression with a depressed mood, but it also goes hand in hand with anxiety

Signs of anxiety often include:

  • Rapid breathing or heart rate
  • Increased or heavy sweating
  • Restlessness, tension, or nervousness
  • Twitching or trembling muscles
  • Difficulty focusing

Anxiety can also trigger feelings of dread, panic, or danger.

3. Mood changes

Depression can also lead to dramatic shifts or uncontrollable emotions, like increased irritability. This can also trigger risky behaviors, like substance use or misplaced anger.

It’s especially common to see irritability in children, adolescents, or men with depression.

4. Appetite and weight changes

These are common signs of depression that people often overlook. That’s because some individuals experience an increased appetite while others lose theirs entirely. 

Changes in appetite can be so dramatic that they cause weight gain or loss.

5. Sleep problems

Depression can also greatly disrupt a person’s sleep cycle. And, again, it can vary from person to person.

Some people with depression may find themselves sleeping all the time, but others hardly sleep at all. Unfortunately, insomnia can also trigger depression and anxiety. This makes it crucial to see an expert if you’re missing out on quality sleep.

6. Increased sensitivity

People usually don’t associate depression with their senses. However, this condition can cause increased sensitivity to touch, smell, sights, and sounds. In response, people can even try to avoid any over-stimulating situations.

Depression can even cause aches and pains that don’t go away.

7. Changes at work or school 

Depression can make it impossible to perform, especially at work or school. This often leads to poor performance, increased absenteeism, and difficulty interacting with coworkers or peers.

8. Cognitive distortion

Finally, depression can also cause negative or illogical thinking patterns that distort a person’s perceptions. For example:

  • Mind reading: making assumptions or jumping to conclusions about another’s intentions
  • Catastrophizing: making negative predictions with little (or no) evidence
  • Polarized thinking: seeing things as entirely good or entirely bad — no middle ground
  • Emotional reasoning: thinking something is true because of emotions, not evidence
  • Mental filtering: focusing on negative things and ignoring the positive
  • Overgeneralization: assuming one negative event applies to all similar experiences
  • Personalization: believing everything is a direct statement about themselves
  • “Should” statements: thinking something should or must be a particular way

Cognitive distortion can also cause someone to minimize or ignore the positive in any experience.

Finding help

If any of these signs of depression sound familiar, don’t wait to see an expert.

Depression can feel overwhelming, but it’s a highly treatable medical condition that responds to psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, and medication. 

Our Associates in Behavioral Science team has the knowledge you need to diagnose your condition and create customized treatments to ease your symptoms. 

Could you have depression? Contact Associates in Behavioral Science in Berwyn and West Dundee, Illinois to schedule a consultation by calling 708-627-2710 or requesting a visit online today.