When most people imagine depression, they tend to think in terms of how depression is depicted in television shows or films. The most famous symptoms of depression are hopelessness, sadness, and loss of interest in enjoyable activities. In fact, these are primary and common symptoms of major depressive disorder. However, it is important to understand that there are multiple types of depression – and major depressive disorder is only one of them. Moreover, different individuals express themselves differently when they’re depressed. Just as no person is the same as another, no case of depression is identical to any other either. For this reason, understanding the lesser known symptoms of depression is critical.
Individuals with depression can experience dramatic changes in their weight. This is because depression impacts areas of the brain that control appetite. Interestingly enough, the weight changes can occur in either direction. Some people respond to depression by overeating. This is a common coping tool to feel better and handle sadness. Others lose their appetite and motivation to eat when they are depressed. Whether a person is gaining or losing weight, they may experience severe and dangerous health problems as a result.
Depression is highly linked to drug and alcohol abuse. In fact, research shows that approximately 1 in 5 people with depression also suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction. When a person suffers from both conditions, this is known as comorbidity. It is understandable why the two conditions are so inextricably linked. Drugs and alcohol can provide temporary relief. However, this relief is very short-lived, and ultimately the withdrawal symptoms are more likely to worsen the symptoms of a mood disorder. Once a person begins experiencing the consequences of addiction in their life, circumstances can drive them into even deeper pits of despair.
Reduced Brain Activity
When people suffer from depression, they often feel like they are not thinking as quickly or experiencing the world as vividly. This subjective experience is actually a reflection of a very real objective phenomenon. The hazy fog that people experience during depression is actually a sign of reduced cognitive functioning. During major bouts of depression, important brain activities like focusing and remembering can be significantly impaired. This can make it difficult for people to function at the top of their abilities in their everyday lives.
Increased Physical Pain
The relationship between physical pain and depression goes both ways. One of the most common factors that can lead to depression is the presence of chronic pain. Partly because suffering makes it harder to take part in daily activities, people who have chronic pain are likely to develop mood disorders and mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. Moreover, depression itself can lead to chronic pain. This can be explained by several possible causes, such as the depressive habit of staying in bed all day – or perhaps even neurological changes brought on by depression. Either way, studies show that individuals with depression are three times more likely to suffer from chronic pain.
Lethargy and Fatigue
Let’s face it. People in the United States are overworked and don’t sleep enough. While fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of depression (occurring in approximately 90% of all cases), most people are likely to attribute their lethargy to other causes – such as lack of sleep. In the case of fatigue brought on by depression, however, the symptoms tend to be more severe. A coffee is rarely sufficient to reduce the intensity. In fact, for depressed individuals, lethargy can make it impossible to perform even the simplest activities.
Get Help for Depression at Lucid Wellness Center
Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the United STates. In fact, approximately 17 million adults in the country suffer from this disorder. Not only does it cause subjective feelings of sadness and despair, but it can make it impossible to function at work, with family, and at school. Getting help for this debilitating condition is crucial.
Fortunately, Lucid Wellness Center specializes in pioneering new evidence-based approaches for treating depression. Our staff utilize treatments such as TMS therapy and ketamine therapy to help individuals with even the most treatment-resistant cases of severe depression. We help clients get relief from symptoms while simultaneously tackling the underlying causes of their mental distress.
If you are ready to get a new hold on life and escape the debilitating darkness of depression, reach out to our staff at Lucid today.