The word “depression” has become a common term in our vocabulary. This is due to increased education and awareness, yet many may not fully understand all depression symptoms. This can lead to confusion when it comes to getting help, as you may not even be aware that some of your symptoms are related to depression at all. You’d be surprised what kinds of symptoms are depression-related!
Depression Symptoms: Anxiety
When we think of depression we imagine someone who is feeling down and sad. But when we think of someone with anxiety we see images of hypervigilance, fear, and intensity. If you already have been diagnosed with an anxiety-related disorder the chances are good that you may also suffer from depression.
Depression Symptoms: Anger
Another symptom of depression that may surprise you is anger. Just as with anxiety, we don’t think at first that the two are connected. After all, people who are angry often have outbursts while we imagine someone who is depressed as being withdrawn. The reason for this is because part of depression involves dealing with a lot of personal, emotional pain. If you are depressed you don’t feel understood, you are isolated, and alone. When you process those feelings anger often comes out.
Depression Symptoms: Inability to Concentrate
When you are feeling sad, alone, and disconnected it’s hard to focus on other things such as your work, your family, or all of the little things that you need to do each day. All that you are capable of doing is focusing on the emotional pain inside of you. When you are carrying that burden and have to deal with everything else, it can be overwhelming.
Depression Symptoms: Changes in Appetite and Weight
You’ve probably heard of someone who is depressed also having a lack of appetite. It ties into the low-energy perception that we have about depression. Yet, someone who is depressed may actually experience the opposite effect by eating more and experiencing weight gain. One reason for this is that food is a way of self-medicating and taking attention off of what they are feeling inside. However, when the food is gone the feelings connected to depression are still there. Additionally, one may feel angry or sad about oneself for eating so much. This only adds to the depression.
Depression Symptoms: Physical Pain
Believe it or not, depression can include feelings of physical pain. Backaches and headaches are two examples. Also, chronic pain can be a source of depression. As you experience pain over time it saps your energy, creates a distraction, and makes it hard to do the things you once enjoyed doing. Some people with chronic pain find it difficult or impossible to work, which means having to leave their job, which only adds to the problem.
Depression Symptoms: Problems Sleeping
If you are struggling with getting a restful, full night’s sleep, it might be due to depression. Sleep is a time for our bodies, and our mind, to unwind and recharge. When we have negative thoughts dragging us down it interferes with our sleep. This makes it more difficult for us to function during the day.
Depression is a difficult and complicated mental health issue that can cause problems that you don’t connect with depression. However, depression can, with help, be treated.
Denise Kautzer is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and a Certified Public Accountant whose practice is located in St. Paul, MN. You can view her website at www.denisekautzer.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.