Major depression or severe struggles with anxiety isn’t always easy to spot in people or yourself. Everyone feels sad and down once in a while and it’s a normal reaction to the more challenging aspects of life, but when does it become more serious?

The death of a loved one, losing your job, or breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend can cause an onset of situational depression. However, depression, which doctors often refer to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is much different.

Depression symptoms aren’t always as obvious as frequent crying and overwhelming despair. Oftentimes the changes are really small, and the person may not notice, but friends and loved ones may. Sometimes, many people with depression don’t even know they have it. People who are depressed cannot simply “pull themselves together” and be cured.

What are some common signs of depression?

Feeling or seeming on edge

Depression can cause us to experience outbursts and mood swings. One minute someone is angry, the next they are crying uncontrollably, or when they completely shut down and go numb. Instead of appearing sad, some people with hidden depression may display irritability and overt or suppressed anger.

Changes in sleep

There is a strong link between mood and sleep. A lack of sleep can contribute to depression, and depression can make it more difficult to sleep. Many lack interest in doing regular activities because they don’t have the energy. Some experience insomnia or even sleep too much. Lack of proper rest may lead to feeling agitated or anxious.

Difficulty experiencing joy or connection

Many depressed individuals experience a lack of enjoyment of activities they used to look forward to, such as hobbies or hanging out with friends. Disinterest in activities that a person used to enjoy can be one of the first signs that other people notice when their loved one has depression.

Oftentimes people who worry they may have depression don’t seek treatment. Many believe they can “snap out of it” on their own. This all-too-common attitude can cause many to unnecessarily suffer from a treatable illness.

Family doctors or general practitioners will perform a thorough exam and screening if someone inquires about possibly struggling with depression. Providers often ask you about your health history and risk factors and may use written questionnaires to assess your symptoms. Family doctors near you will also rule out several medical conditions that can contribute to symptoms of depression.

The most important thing is that people don’t ignore depression. To find out more visit Tanner Clinic.