Depression affects more than 300 million people and is a leading cause of suicides worldwide. Depression affects 44% of the entire population of Pakistan, and there are only 750 trained psychiatrists in the country (meaning only one psychiatrist for every 10,000 patients). When feelings like hopelessness and sadness stay with you for extended periods of time, it may hint towards depression. And while depression is curable, like other diseases the earlier it is diagnosed, the less damage it can do. There are some subtle signs of depression and if you experience these or know someone who does – don’t ignore them. It is absolutely okay not to be okay.
Having Difficulty In Sleeping
Changes in one’s sleep habits are often an early sign of depression. While some are unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, despite feeling exhausted, others sleep too much and have difficulty in staying awake throughout the day. Getting poor quality of sleep due to stress or anxiety can also lead to depression.
Feelings of sadness and hopelessness are not the only emotions someone suffering from depression experiences. In fact, getting irritated or angry on petty issues is also a sign of depression. Don’t ignore these mood swings (as we often put it on our stress level or workload) they are a strong indicator of mental illness.
If you feel more lethargic or are unable to complete small tasks that would usually take you a shorter time to complete, this may be caused by depression. Recognise how your energy levels may have shifted over time. If your mind is constantly working, naturally your body is unable to rest, which can further lead you to be antisocial and sad.
Struggling To Stay Focused
People who struggle with depression often have trouble staying focused. They frequently misplace things and are habitually forgetful. Completing tasks is a big challenge for them and they’re unable to listen to people. This is actually one of the most common symptoms of depression. If you have lost interest in activities that you once enjoyed; be it reading, watching movies or hanging out with friends, consider the possibility that you may be depressed. In such a situation it’s better to consult a therapist as soon as possible.
Aches and Pains
The connection between your body and mind is real. Listen to it. Several people put off body aches and pains as part of the natural ageing process – or just life – but the truth is aches and pains can also be signs of depression. When you’re struggling with mental health issues, you’re more than likely to also experience physical pain.
People who seem like party animals on the outside may be suffering deeply on the inside. Habits like substance abuse, risky behaviour including gambling as well as various other activities of that nature is a coping mechanism that people struggling with depression may use to hide from their problems. Unfortunately, behaviour of this nature makes depression far worse in the long run.
You are not responsible or the reason for all the events in your life – and thinking like this isn’t healthy. Unnecessarily blaming yourself, feeling guilty about everything, or feeling worthless will cause you to become depressed if you aren’t already. Listen to what your mind is telling you – if you are overly harsh or critical with yourself, this may be a sign of depression.