Most people are familiar with the common, core signs of depression. Loss of interest in activities you used to love, low energy levels, and feelings of hopelessness can all indicate a depressive episode. But while these are some of the most common signs of depression, they are not the only ones.
Here are some often overlooked signs that you or a loved one may be struggling with depression.
Changes in Appetite
When depressed, some people struggle to control their appetite. Other people find that they don't eat enough or stop eating. If your appetite has changed and there's no good reason for it — such as exercising more or changing medications — then look to depression as a possible cause.
A Negative Voice in Your Head
Pay attention to your "self-talk" or what the voice in your head seems to be saying. Is that voice becoming more and more negative? Maybe you start to get excited about something, but then the "voice in your head" talks you out of it. This is a common symptom of depression that people often shrug off.
There are a lot of reasons why a person may suddenly feel tired a lot. You might be coming down with a cold, or you may have an underlying physical illness. Depression, however, is a likely explanation to explore with your doctor. If you're getting plenty of sleep but still waking up feeling lethargic, this could be an effect of depression during the daytime.
Some people are naturally more distractable than others. But if you've always been able to concentrate in the past but have begun struggling with it lately, that could be because you are depressed. Your thoughts might wander, and you might have trouble completing one task before moving on to another.
Maybe one week you have a cold. The next week, you have a headache. The week after that, all of your joints are sore for a few days, and you're not sure why. Sometimes depression manifests physically like this. You can treat all of the illnesses and ailments, but until you manage the underlying depression, they just keep coming back.
Depression does not always present the same way, which is one reason it's often hard to diagnose. If you're struggling with any of the symptoms above, talk to a doctor. They can ask some questions, evaluate your health, and recommend the best treatments for you.