Depression is perhaps the most common mental illness in the world. More than 300 million people suffer from depression at any given time. Many of these people aren’t even aware that they are clinically depressed at all, and thus don’t seek treatment. So, knowing the signs and symptoms of depression is important for everyone.
If you aren’t sure whether you are depressed or not, here are ten signs and symptoms you are suffering from depression without even knowing it.
1. You take more risks
Quitting your regular job and starting your own business can be a good decision for the right reasons. If you’re doing it simply to get back a feeling of control over your life. Then it may not be a decision you made purely out of entrepreneurial spirit. Feeling out of control is a leading symptom of depression, and making big changes such as this one is a way many people attempt to mitigate it without even knowing what they are doing.
2. Loss of interest in your favorite activities
Maybe you just haven’t had time to go for a bicycle ride or go fishing. But, lack of interest in things you once loved to do can be a big red flag sign when it comes down to depression. It’s easy to explain it off as simply moving on in life, but paying attention could be important. If you don’t like any old hobbies and haven’t gained any new (healthy) interests, you may want to see a doctor and ask about depression.
3. Not sleeping enough, or sleeping too much
Sleep disturbances are a common sign of depression. You may blame your insomnia on too much coffee too late, or just plain stay up watching movies without noticing. But, if it continues to happen, it could be a symptom of depression. Always feeling tired and ready for a nap could also be a symptom. If you have trouble sleeping in any way, and the problem doesn’t resolve itself, it may be worth talking to a doctor about.
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4. You drink more than you used to
A bottle of wine shared between friends is one thing. But when you’re hitting that bottle more often and earlier than ever before, it is a strong sign of depression. Talk to your health care provider as soon as possible before an increase in drinking becomes difficult to break the habit as well.
5. Small things irritate you far more
We all have our pet peeves, and dealing with them is just part of a work day for most people. The guy who eats lunch at his desk, smacking his lips and slurping through the whole meal. The girl on the other side who sends you 17 emails a day, and then instantly walks over to find out why you haven’t read it. Most of the time we handle these annoyances and carry on with life, but if you find yourself responding in an over the top way, it may be depression talking.
6. You feel like a zombie
Feeling nothing at all is a self-defense mechanism that helps protect you from all the negative feelings associated with the sign of depression. You may not be unhappy, precisely, but you probably can’t remember the last time you were filled with joy either. If all your days are emotionless, bland and gray, it might not be the winter blues. It could be depression lurking nearly invisible in the background.
7. You can’t focus
Most of us have the different ability when it comes down to focus. We may spend a little time fooling around on facebook or checking our e-mails before getting down to work on our projects, but they do get done on time. If you find yourself missing deadlines because you simply can’t stay focused. Or perhaps even find yourself drifting from chore to chore in your house without ever getting anything done, it could be a sign you are feeling depressed.
8. Praise is hard for you to accept
Most of us are trained to be modest about our accomplishments. No one likes a braggart, but if your first reaction is to shoot down any compliments given to you, that’s taking it a little far. This is a more subtle sign of depression. If you find it hard to take compliments it could just as easily be part of your personality. But, it still could be a trait of depression. If you find yourself even less tolerant of praise than usual, you may want to pay attention to these other signs and see if you have a combination.
9. You work longer hours, but seem to get less done
You’ve arrived at work early and stayed late for weeks now, but no matter how much time you put into your projects, you seem to fall farther behind. This can be really disheartening, especially if you naturally have a lot of drive and ambition. If this seems to be the case, it may be time to go through these depression symptoms and see how many you have. It may not be inefficiency causing the issues.
10. You can’t stop partying
Unless you are an introvert, you probably enjoy a good party every once in a while. Socializing is an important part of life, and going to parties are fun and engaging. If you find yourself at as many parties as you can find, and dread going home, you may be trying to hide from negative feelings. Throwing yourself into live music, dancing, and drinks can be more about escapism and less about having fun.
Get yourself checked out by a doctor if you notice a lot of these depression symptoms cropping up. Many cases of depression go untreated due to the sufferer being unaware of the condition. Depression can be deadly, so it is best to check rather than brush off these invisible signs of depression. Even if you don’t have depression, there could be a variety of other problems, such as vitamin B deficiencies, causing the issue. Don’t delay getting checked out, and seek treatment if you are diagnosed.