Can you identify the signs of depression? Keep reading to learn 10 common symptoms so you can know when to seek help.
“Am I depressed?”
I’ve heard a lot of my patients ask themselves this question, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s very common to see people confuse feeling sad some days of the week, or feeling no energy and no motivation some days of the week, with having a depressive episode. This confusion showed me that I need to clarify what it means to have a depressive episode.
Do You Know the Signs of Depression?
To start, the symptoms have to be consistent. They have to be present for more days in a week than not. And it has to be for a minimum of a two week period. The symptoms need to be present are:
- Lack of motivation
- Lack of energy
- Crying spells out of the blue
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Finding no enjoyment in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Changes in appetite
- Feelings of irritation or moodiness
Each of these symptoms have different levels of intensity. If you start to see that these symptoms are affecting your functionality—the way you interact with other people, whether you are isolating yourself more, if you have stopped talking to your family or friends—that means that your depression could be getting worse.
What to Do If You Are Exhibiting Symptoms of Depression
If you begin missing work or start showing up late, if you want to stay in bed or you have stopped taking care of your hygiene, you should consult with a professional because, again, these behaviors could mean that your depression is worsening.
Furthermore, if you have any suicidal thoughts, it’s definitely time to seek help. You can call 911 if you are in crisis. You can also call the suicide hotline, or your doctor or therapist, if you already have those relationships.
I think it is important that we are able to see symptoms in a context of what is going on in the moment, and right now we are living in times that are very difficult and uncertain. We are all entitled to have emotions because of the uncertainty of life right now. It’s important that we also validate our own feelings, and our friends’ and family’s feelings as they are going through these times.
If you have any questions, need help figuring things out, or if you want guidance because you don’t what you’re feeling and you need a little help, just let us know. We are here for you. Mind & Soul Therapy is open. We are taking new patients virtually. I hope this helps. I hope you stay safe and take care of yourself