People with depression often say it feels like being stuck in a fog that won’t lift. Depression can make you anxious, tired, hopeless, or “dulled” in a way that keeps you from feel any emotion at all.

Having depression can derail your life. But with the right support and treatment plan, you can find your way out of the fog and get back to feeling like yourself.

Symptoms of Depression

Depression affects everyone differently. Some of the typical symptoms are:

  • Feeling sad or anxious
  • “Dulled” emotions
  • Hopelessness
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Low energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Sleeping a lot or trouble sleeping
  • Overeating or no appetite
  • Irritability
  • Aches and pains that don’t have a cause
  • Thoughts of suicide1

Depression can also cause pain for the people who care about you. And being depressed can rob you of the motivation you need to get help for the symptoms it causes. Recognizing your symptoms as signs of depression is the first step.

Am I at Risk?

Women are 70% more likely to get depression during their lifetime than men.2 The hormonal changes during your period, during and after pregnancy, and during menopause can trigger depression.2 But depression also has many other causes, including:

  • Family history of depression
  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Certain medications
  • Illnesses that increase your risk
  • Substance abuse
  • Major life changes, like the loss of a loved one, trauma, moving, or childbirth3

Treating Depression

A health professional who knows your history and unique symptoms can best help you come up with a treatment plan. The most common methods for treating depression are medications (usually antidepressants, like Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Celexa, and Wellbutrin) and psychotherapy with a trained specialist.2

Depression is not a weakness of character or a personality flaw. It’s a serious illness. If you are struggling with symptoms of depression, you don’t have to “tough it out.” Like any other medical issue, you can and should seek treatment.

Sources:

  1. Anxiety and Depression Association of America
  2. National Institute of Mental Health
  3. WebMD