It’s normal to feel down from time to time – it’s part of life. But when feelings of helplessness and despair become overwhelming, you could be dealing with something more serious than a normal funk. Chronic depression can be life threatening if you do not seek help, so it is important to know the warning signs, which include:
1. Sad, anxious, or “empty” feeling. People who suffer from depression may experience a wide range of emotions – all of them negative. Feelings can be described as hopeless, helpless, anxious, frustrated, irritated, sad, or even guilty.
2. Lack of energy and motivation. Depression isn’t just mental, it can take a physical toll on your body as well. You may feel tired, sluggish, lethargic, and generally unmotivated all of the time, even if you are well-rested. Even small tasks require all of your effort to complete.
3. Reckless behavior. Feelings of depression may cause individuals to have little to no regard for their well-being. This may lead to engaging in reckless behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, and reckless driving.
4. Changes in eating habits. People have different reactions to depression, and this is often reflected in their changed eating habits. Some who suffer may begin eating more, while others will hardly touch food. Significant weight gain or loss could indicate depression.
5. Changes to sleeping schedule. Just like people react differently in their eating habits, their sleeping schedules could be individually affected too. Some people use feelings of depression as a reason to sleep the day away, while others may suffer from insomnia.
6. Loss of interest in daily activities. The ability to feel joy or pleasure has completely faded, to the point where you don’t even enjoy your favorite former activities – such as hobbies, social gatherings, or sex.
If you are experiencing feelings of depression, it is important to talk to your doctor before symptoms become worse. It is possible that these feelings stem from a hormonal imbalance. If that is the case, ask if hormone replacement therapy is right for you. If you live on Long Island and want to learn more about hormone replacement therapy, contact NuWave Medical, PLLC at (631) 343-7144.