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Woman on her own, looking sad and avoidant

How I Realized I Was Depressed: 6 Warning Signs

Reading time | 2 mins

As with many others, when I was diagnosed with depression the news didn’t come as a shock. There was this constant feeling in the back of my mind — for years — that something wasn’t quite right. I compared myself and my life to those around me and noticed there was something different about me.

Little things seemed to affect me more than they did others. And when I was down, I had a harder time than most getting back to my usual self. I couldn’t shake the negative feelings no matter how hard I tried.

There were a few key ways that my condition showed itself before I had a definitive answer. Watching out for these signs may help you figure out why you’re feeling down and help you reach out to your healthcare professional sooner.

1. Exhaustion

Depression can make you tired. Well, not just tired, but exhausted. I had fatigue that I just couldn’t shake. It didn’t feel like I was tired from a long day or a good workout. I was exhausted all the time, and it didn’t matter whether I got plenty of rest or not.

2. Irritability

It’s an understatement to say I was grumpy most of the time. The smallest things would cause me so much frustration. If I went out to eat and the waitress got my order wrong, I’d be upset. I was always irritable, and it seemed to come out of nowhere. This affected my relationships as nobody wants to be around a grump.

3. Lack of interest

People with depression often experience a loss of interest in things they once enjoyed. This was true for me. I loved reading, but that fell by the wayside. I used to spend hours crocheting, but I found myself pushing that aside too. Things that used to make me happy had seemingly lost their appeal.

4. An overwhelming sense of hopelessness

When someone is depressed, often their molehills turn into mountains. Any optimism I used to have that things would work out was buried by my depression. I lacked motivation because I believed nothing would ever turn out OK. Most people will at least have a small amount of optimism driving them to reach a goal. I didn’t have that.

5. Numbness

Many people with depression don’t necessarily feel sad, they feel numb. Unless you’ve been truly depressed, you may not know what it’s like to feel nothing at all. It’s terrifying. You start to question whether you’re ever going to feel anything again. Out of everything I’ve felt because of my depression, feeling nothing is the scariest of all.

6. Messiness

People with depression sometimes lack the motivation to keep their house clean. Before you know it, dirty clothes, old takeout containers, and so many other things pile up on you. The mess can start to overwhelm you, and you may feel like it will never get done. This can compound your depressive symptoms even more. It’s a never-ending cycle.

The takeaway

If the above signs of depression sound familiar to you, speak with your doctor. You don’t have to spend your life consumed with feelings of hopelessness or emptiness. There are many treatment options available.

Also, you’re not alone. Living with depression is not easy, but with the help of your loved ones and care team, you can learn to manage your symptoms and get back to the things you once enjoyed.

For more information on how to manage depression, reach out to your doctor or healthcare team.

NPS-US-NP-00563 JANUARY 2019