What makes depression unique is that everyone who struggles with it experiences it in a different way. While one person might suffer from insomnia and a loss of appetite, someone else may begin to oversleep and put on extra weight. Depression can affect people in a multitude of ways, and no experience is less valid than another.
The Common Signs & Symptoms of Depression
Because depression is such a highly individualized disorder, it can be difficult to recognize it in yourself. However, understanding the most common symptoms can help you determine if you need to seek treatment. Here are some of the most frequently cited signs of depression to keep in mind.
Feelings of Hopelessness
One of the most common red flags is a persistent feeling of hopelessness. If you often feel like you’re stuck at a dead-end in life, this may be a sign that you’re struggling with depression. It’s also worth noting that feelings of hopelessness can often lead to other negative symptoms. For example, you might find yourself battling a sense of guilt or self-hatred. If your inner voice frequently tells you harmful things that diminish your self-worth, this might be your depression manifesting itself in negative thoughts.
Depression can also be accompanied by physical symptoms that affect numerous areas of your life. Those struggling with depression often report extreme fatigue as one of their main symptoms. This can make it difficult to go to school or work and, in some cases, even complete simple tasks like showering or getting dressed.
While excessive fatigue can cause some people to oversleep, others might feel fatigued as a result of insomnia caused by depression.
Changes in Appetite
Changes in sleep habits normally occur alongside changes in appetite. Just like sleep changes, appetite changes can go in two different directions: you might have an increased appetite and eat more than usual, or you might not feel hungry and undereat.
It’s important to remember that you know yourself better than anyone else, and only you know what’s normal for you. Pay close attention to your eating habits and ask yourself if you’re doing anything different than normal.
Loss of Interest
If you find that your favorite activities no longer bring you joy, this might be a warning sign that you’re dealing with depression. Decreased interest often takes place gradually, and you might not notice it right away. For example, if you used to enjoy playing the guitar, you might find yourself picking up your instrument less and less frequently until you no longer feel the urge to strum out a tune.
No matter what types of activities you no longer enjoy, it’s important not to brush it off as just a phase. Taking this symptom seriously will allow you to embark on the path towards healing.
Depression and anxiety coexist more than any other mental illness, and for good reason. Many of the symptoms of both disorders overlap with each other, and it can be difficult for some people to differentiate between the two.
Some of the most common signs of anxiety include restlessness, feelings of unease, difficulty focusing, a rapid heartbeat, and irregular breathing. Anxiety disorders can also cause significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns in a similar way to depression.
Ketamine for Depression Treatment
Research into IV ketamine infusions for the treatment of anxiety is still ongoing, but the current understanding is that ketamine can bind to receptors in the brain and increase the amount of a neurotransmitter, glutamate. This will set off a chain of reactions in the brain and impact emotional regulation.
To put this into layman’s terms, ketamine allows the brain to trigger hormones that create more positive emotions. One added benefit of ketamine infusion is that relief can occur within minutes rather than the weeks or months an antidepressant or therapy may take.