Mental Health 101: 5 Symptoms Of Depression

depressed woman Depression is a serious mental health condition that often is misunderstood and unnoticed by those surrounding the depressed. It affects nearly one-fifth of the population in the United Kingdom and in the United States; the World Health Organization approximates that 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The prevalence of condition is more common than some might think and those with depression should seek professional help to overcome their struggles. With that said, mental health experts and psychotherapists like Stuart MacFarlane have complied the top five symptoms of depression that are indicators of the disorder.

1. Change In Eating Habits

An obvious change in eating habits is a major indicator and warning sign of depression. There are several reasons why an individual may change their diet – they may no longer care about their physical well-being, they have a lackadaisical attitude towards making their own food, they lost interest in eating or they look for comfort in binge eating. Whether they experience a large shift in weight gain or loss, their eating habits may foretell their mental well-being.

2. Loss Of Interest

Depressed individuals tend to lack interest in activities they use to enjoy participating in. For instance, they may avoid social gatherings, they may no longer participate in sports teams or they simply have lost interest in a hobby they once loved. If they no longer engage in activities they used to enjoy, it can pose ramifications to not only themselves, but also in their social relationships.

3. Constant Fatigue & Irregular Sleep Patterns

Another major sign of depression has a lot to do with energy and irregular sleeping patterns. If an individual feels constantly fatigued, the underlying problem may be due to their inability to get enough sleep. Whether they have full-blown insomnia throughout the night or they sleep most of their day away, it all leads to the possibility of depression.

4. Feeling Down, Sad Or Empty

A common symptom of depression stems around mood and having feelings of sadness, emptiness or helplessness can point to depression. Those who are depressed have lower levels of ‘feel good’ brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin, which can throw off their balance and their emotions.

5. Thoughts Of Death Or Suicide

Lastly, one of the biggest indicators of depression revolve around thoughts of suicide and death. Self-harm and thoughts of suicide are serious symptoms in which the individual needs immediate help.

Any of the above symptoms may result in a clinical diagnosis of depression and individuals need professional help to overcome these psychological dilemmas. A number of treatments are available that can range from medication to therapy to lifestyle changes.

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