Could You or a Loved One Be Suffering from Depression? Watch for the Symptoms
Clinical depression is significantly different from just feeling down in the dumps. Everyone gets down sometimes, and it’s perfectly normal. However, when certain symptoms persist, you may be experiencing more than a normal episode of the blues; you may have the medical condition of clinical depression.
Types of depression
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 16 million American adults have major depressive disorder, the most commonly diagnosed form of depression. There are other types of depression, as well, including:
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- Depressive disorder due to other medical conditions
- Adjustment disorder with depressed mood
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
Each type of depression is a medical condition and has similar symptoms. Some of the symptoms of depressive disorders are similar to symptoms of anxiety disorders, and many people who have depression also have anxiety.
Symptoms of depression
It’s entirely possible to experience some of the symptoms of depression and not be clinically depressed. One of the most important factors in determining whether you’re experiencing a depressive episode or you’re just going through normal ups and downs is how long your symptoms last. If you have symptoms for more than two weeks, you should schedule an appointment with one of our experts here at Family Medical Specialists of Florida.
Additionally, if you’re having more than one symptom at a time, it could be cause for concern. Depression doesn’t always follow a set course or timeline; it behaves differently from person to person and even episode to episode. Here are some of the most common symptoms.
Big, unexplained changes
Changes in weight, appetite, and sleep schedule are very common in people with depression. You may also feel a change in your energy level that doesn’t make sense.
If you normally sleep well, and you’re suddenly struggling to get good sleep, it could be a sign of depression. You may also find that all you want to do is sleep.
One of the most concerning symptoms to watch for in people you care about is a sudden shift from being lackadaisical and not seeming to care to having lots of energy. This could indicate the person has decided that suicide may be the answer.
You may struggle with appetite during depression, even though it may seem more common for people to overeat when they’re depressed. Often, feelings of emptiness lead to having less or even no appetite.
If you feel like you’re always cranky, or if someone you care about suddenly seems constantly irritable and impatient, it could be a symptom of depression. Any big changes in mood or personality should be of concern, especially if it lasts more than a few days.
Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or worthlessness may also be symptoms of depression. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, and while some people may feel pessimistic, others report simply feeling empty.
If you have unexplained aches and pains, they could be symptoms of depression. Although most people think of depression as a mental illness affecting your mind and feelings, it can also have physical manifestations.
You may have pain in your joints, back, neck, or other areas, as well as feel a deep fatigue. Don’t ignore those symptoms, especially if you have others that may indicate depression.
Depression is very treatable, so if you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, book an appointment with us at Family Medical Specialists of Florida. Call our office in Plant City or click the button to schedule online today. Our providers are experienced and knowledgeable and happy to answer your questions.