A guide to the common signs of depression and what to do if you are grappling with it:
With depression, feelings of lingering sadness or emptiness are compounded by physical symptoms. This can go in a downward direction - like low energy, low appetite, or low motivation - or depression can manifest as doing more of something, too, like over-spending or over-eating. Unlike sadness, which is a feeling that resolves over time, depression will generally hang around until you get help from a professional. Some signs of depression include:
- Unending feelings of sadness
- Feelings of deep, unwarranted guilt or worthlessness
- Loss of interest and enthusiasm for things which used to provide pleasure
- Irritability or inexplicable moodiness
- Fatigue, which may manifest as low energy all day
- Changes in sleep patterns - sometimes excessive sleeping, sometimes trouble falling asleep or staying asleep every night
- Changes in eating patterns - this can mean loss of appetite or excessive eating, not just for a day but for several days or even weeks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Other physical symptoms, such as headaches or body aches, that don’t have a specific cause
- Constant thoughts about death
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
If you think you might be depressed - or even if you’re feeling sad for a long stretch and the feeling doesn’t seem to be going away - it’s important to reach out to a trusted resource for help. This should almost always be an adult, someone who has the resources, life experience, and capacity to help you - maybe a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, school nurse, coach, teacher or a mental health professional: school psychologist, guidance counselor, pediatrician. A best friend is invaluable, but if you are worried about depression, turn to an adult. This adult can help you figure out if and when you need the help of a mental health professional. Most importantly, remember there’s no shame in being depressed.
Click here to read about who are our trusted adults
Click here for article: Am I sad or Depressed? What’s the Difference?
Click here for more on sadness
Photo by Vladim B
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