There are common signs of slipping into a depression; but here are subtle signals to look out for:
#1 Unexplained pain symptoms
An often-overlooked sign of depression (and sometimes the only sign) is having unexplained pain that your doctor can’t find the source of. This can include headaches, back pain, abdominal pain or musculoskeletal pains in the lower back, joints and neck. For upwards of half of people with depression, pain is the way the disorder presents itself, experts say.
#2 Unusual physical signs
Experts have discovered a relationship between depression and the digestive system, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic systems. These physical symptoms can also come in the form of anxiety or even full-blown panic attacks which may present as a constant state of a racing heart and not being able to stop the fluttering.
#3 Your grooming routine has changed
Changes in your grooming routine can seem like a subtle symptom, like forgetting to wipe off smudged mascara before heading out to take Fido for a walk, or simply not caring about styling your hair. Maybe you just slowly stop taking pride in dressing well for work.
#4 Not getting back to friends
If you find that you haven’t the energy to return calls or texts from friends and that it just seems like so much work, then this could be a red flag. This can be subtle for those who aren’t normally social butterflies and a little more obvious for those who like a larger circle of friends. If you find yourself avoiding certain people or hoping you won’t run into friends when in the grocery store or mall, then this could be the start of a depressive episode.
#5 Your emotions feel flat
When this happens for those closest to you, like your spouse or kids, it can be very disconcerting. For people with depression who feel emotionally numb and stop feeling love for those around them, they withdraw and intimate relationships suffer because sexual desire is lower.
#6 An overwhelming feeling of guilt
In many people in the midst of depression, guilt, even over the mundane, can be overwhelming. It can become all consuming and have the person feeling guilty for having depression and putting their family through their ordeal. This can even lead to having regret for being born.
#7 Being more introverted
This one could be difficult to detect sometimes, but if you normally have a larger personality (e.g. people know your name at the local coffee shop, you’re the social convener at work) and friends notice you are just more quieter than usual and less connected, this could be a warning you are in depression.
#8 Your job seems more difficult
For many people with depression, Attention Deficit Disorder can also be an issue and this can be amplified during an episode. It may be more difficult to focus or simply just showing up to work seems like such a chore, as does interacting with your co-workers. If you work from a home office, your discipline in working will seem much more difficult to control.
For many people, overwhelming sadness or misery may not be ever present as you may expect with a depressive episode; sometimes, irritability is the main sign. We are too quick to blame stress or work load, relationship problems or hormones on a constant state of irritation, but experts advise to stand back and consider the possibility of depression.
#10 Your music playlist is dark
If you normally have an assortment of light, uplifting music on your playlist and you notice a trend you are downloading or playing more sorrowful, grim and dark music, you may want to take this as a sign to stand back and consider you are feeling depressed.
Sources: “Signs of Depression,” yourtango.com
via Esperanza – Hope To Cope
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