Many people think depression = sadness. They use it casually when something goes wrong, for instance, “oh, I’m so depressed,” when really, it’s much more than just being upset.
Depression is an actual illness that affects upwards of 264 million people world-wide. According to my therapist, depression can be treated with cognitive therapy and medication. But how do you know if you have depression? Here are some common symptoms:
1. Lack of Motivation
This isn’t the feeling of dread you feel when you have an assignment due either. This is the lack of motivation to do simple tasks, such as take a shower, take out the trash, or get out of bed. It is the feeling of being stuck in a “funk” where you cannot muster the energy to do literally anything.
2. Lack of Energy
People who are depressed are usually tired all the time. They can get 10 hours of sleep and still wake up exhausted.
3. A Negative Mindset
People who have depression tend to have a “glass half empty” type of outlook on life. Once a negative thought pops into their head, it tends to spiral into a pit of negativity, which in extreme cases, could lead to thoughts of self-harm.
4. A Feeling of Guilt
People with depression generally feel guilty about their illness. They could feel that their illness makes them a burden to friends and family. From my experience, if I could illustrate it, imagine a gray cloud following you everywhere you go. You know you’re gloomy, negative, and feel like a downer. Many can feel like others do not understand them and what they are going through during this time. In turn, some people turn to isolation.
Anxiety itself is another illness that is closely linked with depression.
Anxiety could take the form of:
- Trouble breathing
- Panic attacks
- Fast heart-rate
6. Losing Interest
People who suffer from depression can notice themselves losing interest in activities/hobbies they once enjoyed (including sex).
If you have depression or think you may suffer from depression, please know that you are not alone. Unfortunately depression is a common illness but with professional help, you can overcome it.