Lesser-Known Signs of Depression

October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month. While we tend to know the biggest warning signs of depression — a lingering sadness, feeling helpless or hopeless, or losing interest in once-loved activities — there are some lesser talked about symptoms that merit a second glance, especially since depression affects more than 264 million people worldwide.

Closer to home, an estimated 7% of U.S. adults experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.

Here are a few signs that you may be depressed:

  • You’re numb. If everything has become rather “meh” to you as of late, that could be a symptom of depression. If the things that made you angry, sad, joyful now simply just seem meaningless, take heed. It could be an indicator or a larger problem.
  • You’re feeling too sensitive. If things that never made you cry or never really annoyed you suddenly have you sobbing or ready to climb the wall. 
  • You’re hurting. If headaches or arthritis suddenly seem that much worse, that’s another sign of an issue.
  • Missing deadlines. A lack of focus, forgetfulness, and tiredness all can point to depression. People have trouble finishing things such as returning phone calls, paying bills, or even deciding on what to order for lunch.
  • Stumbling over words. Struggling to recall certain words may have some people worrying it’s early dementia settling in, but it can also be a symptom of depression.

Fortunately there are helpful therapies to help people with depression. Psychotherapy, medication, light therapy, exercise, brain stimulation treatments, and alternative therapies have been found to be successful approaches for people. If you’re not sure if your symptoms point to depression or some other condition, getting screened can help.

Typically your primary health care provider will examine you for any underlying health conditions such as a thyroid disorder and ask you about your mood, sleep habits, and other symptoms. Online screening tools can help too.

No matter what, however, if you’re feeling numb, experiencing aches and pains, having trouble concentrating, or not enjoying life like you used to, getting help is key.

If you’re thinking of ending your life, please reach out for help. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is just a phone call away: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).

Sources

who.int – Depression

nami.org – Depression

harvard.edu – How Depression Affects Your Thinking Skills

redbookmag.com – 11 Little-Known Symptoms of Depression

medlineplus.gov – Depression Screening 

sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month: Online Screening Tools

suicidepreventionlifeline.org – National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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