Life is full of experiences that result in a roller coaster of highs and lows that make it particularly difficult to pick up on the nuances of mental health issues such as depression.
It’s perfectly natural to feel sad sometimes, but how can you tell the difference between sadness and depression? What are the signs that you or a friend or family member should look for so you seek out mental health treatment before you’re too mired in negative thoughts and feelings? The compassionate, experienced clinical team at Connect Wellness in Beverly Hills, California, led by Executive Director Rod Amiri, MD, offers the following insights into the signs and symptoms of depression.
The first thing to keep in mind is that depression looks a little different in each person, but it’s much more than just periodic sadness from the death of a loved one or disappointment from not getting a job offer or that date to the prom. However, any or all of these examples can trigger a depressive episode in susceptible people, and that makes recognizing depression challenging and complicated.
Add into the mix the fact that some people are very good at masking their depression, and it comes as no surprise that a great number of cases of depression go untreated. In fact, in the United States, only 29% of all people suffering from depression in 2016 sought help for their condition.
Since detecting depression can be complex, start by looking for a combination of symptoms or signs.
Hopelessness feeling that doesn’t go away
Feelings of sadness, negativity, or pessimism that linger more than a few days could signal that you or a loved one is suffering from depression. If something sad happens, remember it’s natural to feel blue. If you can’t shake the feeling after a reasonable amount of time, though, your sadness may have transitioned into depression, and that can be hard to fight without help.
Swings in appetite and sleep patterns
Similar to anxiety, people suffering from depression often experience wild swings in their eating habits, either eating too little or too much. Drastic changes in sleeping patterns can also indicate depression. Some people have difficulty sleeping while others want to sleep all the time.
Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
Since there is a correlation between sleeping and the ability to focus and concentrate, some people suffering from depression who are restless and can’t sleep at night go through their days groggy, unable to concentrate, and have difficulty making decisions or remembering things.
Depression is a serious illness, and suicidal thoughts or attempts may be a possible outcome if it’s left untreated. Depression can also lead to a number of serious medical conditions such as cardiovascular and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Our caring team offers assessments and long-term solutions for managing depression through an intensive outpatient program.
If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from depression, contact Connect Wellness, and start your journey to feeling like yourself again. Book an appointment online or call us at 310-881-8643 today.