Depression can rob you of your time, your relationships, and your health. It is a subtle, almost invisible condition that creeps up out of nowhere, but can have long-lasting effects that can be hard to navigate or understand. But no matter what, it is important to know that you do not have to face depression on your own. The primary care doctors at KentuckyCare are here to help you develop a plan to manage your depression, and get your life back on track.
What Is Depression?
Depression, also referred to as clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is a mood disorder that leaves sufferers feeling melancholic detached, and isolated. While everyone has bad days and may feel “out of it” from time to time, if you have been feeling depressed or withdrawn for an extensive period of time, you may be suffering from depression. Without treatment, it could affect your job, your health, and your relationships.
Even though depression has no physical symptoms, there are outward signs that reveal the negative effects of this condition.
Below are some of the most common signs of depression.
Even if you are getting enough sleep, depression can sap your emotional, mental, and even physical energy. The amount of time or effort exerted during physical activity usually does not make much of a difference, either. Depression can leave you feeling drained no matter how much rest or exercise you are getting. You may often feel like you are in a “zombie state” or in a fog.
Depression can cause you to lose sleep, as anxiety and insecurity may make it difficult for your mind and body to fully relax. This often leads to trouble falling and staying asleep at night. Sleep is important for maintaining mental and physical health. Missing out can wreak havoc on your immune system, and even make you more susceptible to depression as time goes on.
Lack of Interest
With depression, you may find yourself withdrawing from activities or commitments that used to make you happy. As time goes by, hobbies that you enjoy may start to seem like arduous tasks that bring feelings of dread or anxiety.
Changes in Appetite
Depression could cause you to lose interest in food, too. You may find yourself too tired to prepare meals, or to even commit to picking up an order you made for takeout. Food might become a tedious chore to you, which can lead to unhealthy weight loss, among other issues. At the same time, depression can lead to unhealthy weight gain, as well. Food can become a way to ignore your feelings, or a replacement for physical activity. If you find your diet changing significantly and have not made purposeful changes, depression may have something to do with it.
Mood swings can be an outward sign of depression. If you feel like your emotions are out of your control, you may be experiencing more than just emotional turbulence. When you go from a joyful, happy moment to a crashing, burst of anger for little to no reason, there could be a deeper issue at play.
Depression can cause psychological side effects that lead to abnormal behavior, especially in men and older adults. Avoidance, impulsive behavior, and even alcoholism can all be brought on by depression. It can cause inexplicable and sporadic personality changes in those suffering from it.
If you or someone you love is suffering from alcoholism, reach out to a substance abuse counselor. They will have the resources to treat the root of the behavior, and help you or your loved one manage the condition.
Physical pain is sometimes an overlooked symptom of depression, but that does not make it uncommon. If you have been experiencing muscle aches, headaches, or other physical issues that are not related to a previous injury or illness, depression may be the cause. Stress, anxiety, and low energy levels pile up and can work against your body. Lack of sleep and physical exercise can take their toll, as well.
Suicidal Thoughts or Actions
When you feel bad enough for extended periods of time, you may start considering suicide as a way to end your suffering. Depression can oftentimes make it difficult to be optimistic, which can lead you to feel hopeless in the face of overwhelming negative emotions. If you are suffering from depression, you may have already looked to suicide as a way out of your situation, made a plan, or even tried to execute it. If you are having suicidal thoughts, or have attempted it, the best thing to do is call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). There are specially-trained, caring and compassionate people on the line ready to assist you, and get you the help you need.
Depression can make you feel hopeless, helpless, and alone. Working with your primary care provider can help you recognize the symptoms of depression, and help you realize that you are not alone in managing your condition. It can also reinforce the fact that, no matter how overbearing depression might seem, you ultimately have the power to decide to do something about it.
Instead of letting depression control your time, relationships, and health, take the first step to controlling your depression. Reach out to us at KentuckyCare to connect with a provider if you feel you or a family member may be suffering from depression. Early detection and treatment can prevent serious health issues caused by depression. Contact us at (866)810-7602 today to find a medicine center for you and your family.