When you think of depression, what symptoms come to mind? People often know that depression can make you feel like you don't want to get out of bed and that it can cause you to feel blue or grumpy all of the time. These are certainly signs of depression, but they are not the only signs of depression. Everyone experiences depression a little differently. If you are struggling with any of the following more subtle symptoms, then you should see your doctor for a diagnosis.
Loss of interest in hobbies.
Maybe you used to love drawing, but you can't bring yourself to get out your pencils lately. Or perhaps you used to be an avid hiker, but it has been months since you've been motivated to go into the woods. Depression can sometimes cause people to lose interest in their hobbies or to feel less passionate about the things they used to love. Sometimes the change is abrupt; you just stop loving the things you've always loved one day. Other times, the change creeps in more gradually, and you slowly fall away from the things you once loved.
Changes in appetite.
Some people, when they are depressed, no longer feel hungry and end up under-eating for a long period of time. Other people find that the opposite is true. Their appetite grows and grows, and they find themselves over-eating. If this is your only symptom, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about potential gastrointestinal issues, too. But know that this can also be a sign of depression.
As with appetite, the effects of depression on sleep can vary. While people often think of spending all day in bed as a sign of depression, the opposite can occur. Some people struggle to fall asleep or stay asleep when they are depressed. You may experience full-blown insomnia, or you may wake up several times in the middle of the night with your mind racing. Improving your sleep hygiene by avoiding screens and sleeping in a quiet place may help, but if you are depressed, then depression treatment is likely to be the most effective move toward better sleep.
Depression can make you feel exhausted, but it can also have a lot of other effects. Keep an eye out for these symptoms, and make an appointment with your doctor if you experience them. Depression is real, and treatment can help.