Approximately 1 in 10 Americans suffer from depression at any given time, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many people are not aware of the subtle signs that signal depression, however, and may ignore the problem until they begin to suffer serious illness.
“Advanced depression can lead to physical, mental, and emotional issues and can wreak havoc with your relationships,” Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a renowned psychologist and author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to a Healthy Relationship,” tells Newsmax. “When people experience depression, they often lack energy and become withdrawn. This can have a debilitating impact on their personal and family life.”
Kuriansky says that the first step is awareness.
“If you find yourself suffering from symptoms that last a week or two, talk to a trusted person who is a good listener and has your best interests at heart,” she says. “It could be a close friend, member of the clergy, or a mental health professional.”
Here are five symptoms you should not ignore:
- Sleep difficulties. According to Psychology Today, an occasional restless night is normal but when you suffer from persistent sleep problems or insomnia, it can signal depression. On the other hand, healthcare professionals say that many people who suffer from depression may sleep too much. Both ends of the spectrum warrant your attention.
- Irritability. While many people associate depression with profound sadness, experts say that the condition cause anger and irritability. “Don’t blame your impatience and anger on your stress level or workload,” says Psychology Today. “Take a moment to consider the possibility you may be depressed.”
- Aches and pains. Your sore muscles may be sign you are depressed, say experts, who point out the inextricable link between body and mind. Headaches, back pain, and muscle aches could all be signs of depression.
- Decreased energy. As Kuriansky points out, people who suffer from depression may also lack energy which affects their personal life and their relationships. If everyday tasks wear you down, you may be depressed.
- Recklessness. People suffering from depression may find themselves taking unwarranted chances and engaging in risky sexual behavior, gambling, and substance abuse. According to Foundations Recovery Network, substance abuse is common among people battling a depressive disorder. Many people reach for alcohol or drugs to lift their spirits, not realizing that depression and substance abuse feed into each other, and one condition will make the other worse.
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