Early Signs of Depression & Warning Signs to Look out for
Depression is a serious medical disorder that can change the way a person thinks, eats, sleeps, acts and perceives life. Depression is often defined as an intense feeling of prolonged hopelessness and doom. Here are some early warning signs to look out for in yourself, as well as some tips for receiving help if needed.
Loss of interest in hobbies and daily activities
Hobbies, social gatherings, pastimes and activities that you found fun and pleasurable in the past no longer bring you joy. You no longer look forward to them and you do not seem to care about these activities anymore.
Another sign is a loss of interest in sex in those who are sexually active. Decreased sex drive and even impotence can be early indicators of depression.
You have developed a pessimistic approach to life, meaning that it feels like there’s no point in anything and that nothing will get better.
Weight and appetite changes
Your appetite has unintentionally decreased or increased severely, causing drastic weight fluctuations (either weight gain/loss). This sign can vary person to person as some may skip meals or reduce their portion sizes drastically, while others may binge or overeat.
Sleep problems & increased fatigue
Insomnia, early morning wakefulness and oversleeping are all linked to depression. The loss of energy and fatigue that those with depression experience comes from the poor quality of sleep. This can further lead to loss of interest as well as anxiety.
Anxiety has been shown to occur with depression, however there is no direct source that states that either one is the cause of the other. Symptoms of anxiety include: increased nervousness, rapid heart rate, trembling and muscle twitches, heavy sweating, increased breathing and digestive issues.
You’re having consistent trouble focusing on work-related tasks and chores. Furthermore, you are unable to make important decisions, you can’t think straight as your thoughts have become disorganized and scattered. Lastly, you have trouble remembering things.
Loss of Energy
Along with sleep issues, you may feel fatigued, sluggish and slow throughout the day. Your daily tasks are seemingly taking longer to accomplish and you seem to be putting in less effort into them. Furthermore, small activities and tasks are draining you way faster than they used to and keep you feeling burn-out rather quickly.
Your tolerance level has dropped significantly and you are feeling unexplainable anger towards those around you. Small interactions get you irritated very easily for no reason and it seems as if everyone is getting on your nerves.
Extreme feelings of Guilt
You are having strong feelings of self-loathing and guilt towards yourself. This includes harshly criticizing yourself, as well as being overly sensitive to faults and mistakes you make. Also, you find yourself overthinking every little thing you do such as your conversations, actions and behaviours towards others.
Body aches, cramps and/or headaches
An unexplained increase in physical aches such as body aches, headaches and cramps. Digestive issues could be tied in with symptoms of anxiety due to the increased activation of the sympathetic nervous system, which can lead to issues such as chronic constipation or diarrhea.
If you’re worried that you display these early signs of depression, don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you such as your friends and family for support. Being able to express your situation and your feelings to a listener can be an immense help.
If you need someone to talk to about these symptoms, our team at Certified Listeners Society consist of a group of highly trained volunteers are here to listen, support and guide you 24/7 https://certifiedlisteners.org/support/
Other tools for coping with depression include lifestyle changes, consulting a therapist, and/or taking medication. Recognizing your symptoms and asking for professional help is the first step in being able to feel like yourself again.