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Health and Fitness News

Beyond Feeling Sad

Seven surprising symptoms of depression

You know the typical signs of depression—sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, and trouble sleeping that continue for more than two weeks. Millions of people young and old, male and female, across the globe suffer from depression. The good news is that depression is a highly treatable mental health condition. Through counseling and medication, you can overcome your depressed state of mind and enjoy life once again.

What many people don’t realize is depression often comes with unexpected, atypical symptoms that are not easy to recognize. Because of this, many people suffer with depression without knowing it. If you deal with any of the following thoughts and behaviors, you may be depressed. Acknowledge you have a problem and seek help to overcome this difficult condition.

Symptom 1: Short Temper

A car cuts you off. Your kids make too much noise. You can’t find the remote. What happens? You blow a fuse. More than half of all people with depression deal with exaggerated feelings of anger, hostility, and irritability. It’s not just sadness and fear that are blown out of proportion, but all negative emotions are as well.

Symptom 2: Retail Therapy

Do you find yourself maxing out credit cards and spending too much money on things you don’t need? Compulsive spending can be a sign of depression. Finding that perfect pair of shoes or another techy gadget may distract you from your sadness and boost your self-esteem, but it only provides a temporary relief from your depression.

Symptom 3: A Lack of Emotion

Things and people that used to give you joy no longer have the same effect. Just like depression can exaggerate feelings, it can also leave you feeling devoid of emotions. You feel numb, aloof, and blah. A sad movie won’t make you cry and a comedy won’t make you laugh. It’s difficult to connect with people and your friendships begin to fall by the wayside. If this is you, it may be depression.

Symptom 4: You’re Overweight

Unexplained weight loss can be a sign of depression, but so can weight gain. Many people eat in response to their emotions. Feel sad? How about an ice cream cone to cheer you up? Don’t feel like getting out of your pajamas? Why not eat a frozen dinner? Unfortunately, comfort foods aren’t exactly low calorie. Someone who’s depressed will have a harder time losing weight. Get help for depression and watch the weight come off.

Symptom 5: Neglect of Appearance

Not caring what you look or smell like can be an underlying symptom of depression. Poor dental hygiene, unkempt hair, or wrinkled clothes may be outward signs of an inward problem. Sometimes it’s more than a neglect of your physical appearance but a disregard for your physical health. Ignoring doctor’s orders, continuing to drink soda despite being diabetic, or driving without your seatbelt may signify depression.

Symptom 6: Obsessive Behaviors

Whether it comes in the form of gambling, Facebook, pornography, or game sites, compulsive online addictions are often a sign of depression. A preference of interacting with virtual people rather than real people is a way to escape from your true feelings and thoughts. You lack the ability to connect with real humans so you cope through a false sense of reality, looking for your next “high.”

Symptom 7: Chronic Pain

Three out of four people who deal with depression also suffer from some sort of chronic pain. The opposite is also true. People who deal with chronic pain are more likely to be depressed. Whether it’s neck pain, low back pain, headaches, or stomachaches, depressed people are more in tune with their body’s perception of pain. They’re also less able to cope emotionally and physically. Why is this? Studies show pain and mental illness share the same biological pathways in the brain.