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Six Signs of Depression

Depression can affect anyone, and the right treatment can save a life. This Mental Health Awareness Month, find out how to spot the signs of depression and when to get help.

October 24, 2016 | HF Healthy Living Team

Being sad at times and having “the blues” are normal feelings. But depression is a serious condition that can interfere with sleeping, eating, and your usual activities. Sometimes depression feels like extreme sadness, but it can also take other forms.

If you have experienced two or more of the symptoms below for three weeks or longer, you may have depression. Click on the images to learn more.

Feeling Helpless or Hopeless


Helplessness, hopelessness, and feelings of emptiness that last for a long time are major symptoms of depression, as are beliefs that nothing will improve and you will never feel better.


Loss of Interest


No longer feeling joy or pleasure when doing things you used to enjoy—like favorite activities, hobbies, or spending time with people you love—is a sign that you are depressed.


Changes in Sleeping or Eating Patterns


Being tired all the time no matter how much you sleep, or having insomnia (being unable to sleep even when you want to), are both symptoms of depression. Being unable to eat or to stop eating are also signs of a mood disorder, especially if you’ve lost or gained 5% of your body weight or more within one month.


Irritability or Anger


A short temper, restlessness, agitation, and feeling as though everything gets on your nerves are signs of depression. These symptoms are more common in men and teenagers, although women can experience them, too.


Aches and Pains


These can include headaches, stomachaches, back pain, and more. If you are constantly in pain and can’t explain why, the answer may be depression.


Reckless Behavior


Also called ‘escapist’ behavior, engaging in reckless or dangerous activities like excessive drinking, drug abuse, irresponsible driving, or other risky activities is a sign of depression.


Depression can affect anyone, at any stage of life. Learn more about postpartum depression here, and check out these signs of depression in kids and teens.

If you are feeling depressed and in need of help, see your doctor or call 1-800-LIFENET for free, 24/7 counseling and support. If you believe that you or someone you know is in danger or likely to harm him- or herself, call 9-1-1 right away.


© 2016 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

“Depression,” National Institute of Mental Health. May 2016.

“Depression,” MedlinePlus. August 18, 2016.

“Depression Symptoms and Warning Signs,” June 2016.

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