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Easy to Miss Signs of Depression

By Paul Rothbart

Depression is a common and debilitating condition. Help is available, but first, it must be recognized. There are signs of depression that are easily overlooked in family or friends and even in oneself. Mental health is far too important to allow depression to go undiagnosed. Here are some easy to miss signs to look for in your loved ones or yourself.

Changes in Appetite or Weight

People experiencing depression often undergo changes in their appetites. Some will eat more, seeking to ease their distress, while others find it difficult to eat normally. Over time, these appetite changes cause the person to gain or lose weight, sometimes dramatically. Large changes in weight can harm self-esteem and worsen depression. Gaining excessive weight can also cause inflammation that may exacerbate the mental condition. If someone you know experiences excessive changes in weight, always ask if it was intentional. This is often the first sign of depression.

Changes in Sleep

Mood is strongly linked to sleep. Depression can affect sleep either way, causing the sufferer to sleep more than usual or less. Often, a depressed person will just lie in bed all day, lacking motivation. The anxiety experienced can make sleep difficult. Lack of sleep also contributes to depression. Just as with appetite, this creates a downward cycle. The complex neurochemicals that control mood are greatly affected by sleep. This is a strong indicator of depression.

Fatigue

Feeling tired all the time and dragging through the day is a very clear sign of depression. Research suggests over 90 percent of depressed people experience fatigue. If you or someone you care about feels lethargic throughout the day, heed the warning sign and seek a professional diagnosis.

Inability to Concentrate

Loss of focus is a sign of depression that is very easy to miss. Having trouble remembering things or losing one's train of thought in the middle of a conversation are a key part of this symptom. Not being able to concentrate on the task at hand is yet another. Lack of concentration is another reason to seek help.

Loss of Interest in Hobbies

The National Institute of Mental Health lists loss of interest in hobbies as one of the main symptoms of depression. People suffering from depression often avoid any pleasurable activities. This includes hobbies that normally bring them great joy. When I have experienced bouts of depression, one of the first things that happens is I stop playing music, which I love. This symptom is one of the most telling. Do not ignore it.

Depression is serious but often goes untreated and even undiagnosed. Some of the signs can be subtle. Be especially vigilant with anyone who has experienced depression in the past. Recognizing depression early and seeking treatment are the keys to keeping it under control. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Orlando, Fla.

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