Those who have never experienced depression may think that the diagnosis of the condition is simple. A sufferer feels depressed, and… well, surely that’s pretty much it, isn’t it?
Of course, a low mood is a vital requirement for a depression diagnosis, but the condition also has a number of other symptoms. It’s more than possible for someone to be experiencing severe depression and genuinely not even know that they are depressed; they put their low mood down to outside factors, rather than an internal issue.
Depression is a pernicious issue that, if left untreated, will usually only escalate in severity. Let’s discuss some of the lesser-known signs of depression; hopefully, these will help you identify the condition in yourself or those you care for, so any help required can be obtained.
1) Health Neglect
People with depression can be rather cavalier about their health; they don’t do the things we’re all meant to do to keep ourselves healthy. People with depression are less likely to maintain their health adequately, resulting in what is known as self-neglect. Depressives are less likely, for example, to remember to take medication; perform routine health monitoring such as checking blood pressure; neglect personal care such as adequate skincare or taking trips to the likes of Ideal Dentistry for routine teeth maintenance; and all of the other “basic” healthcare needs most of us do without thinking.
The health-neglect problem of depression ultimately means that depressives tend to be far less healthy than others– but it’s their depression, not their inherent physical health, that is the problem. If you, or someone you know, has a pattern of persistent health concerns, then depression — and the health neglect it causes — may be the actual root problem.
2) Changes In Appetite
It may seem odd to suggest that mental health can be linked with our appetite; the two don’t seem to be related to one another in any way, shape, or form.
However, it’s persistently seen in clinical patients that depression causes changes in appetite. This can mean eating too little or not eating enough; anything that is different from your usual eating habits. If you find yourself craving food, or wanting to go for hours without eating, then depression may be the culprit.
3) Flu-Like Symptoms
Many people with depression report they feel unwell frequently, as if they are coming down with a cold or the flu… but the virus never seems to fully flower. Persistent flu-like symptoms that come and go are a clear sign of depression, and definitely one you should speak to a doctor about if you experience it.
Depression is clever in how it can hide behind situational issues or depletion of mental energy, meaning it can go undiagnosed for years. While we may all associate depression with a low mood, sometimes, that alone is not enough to prompt someone to seek help. If you — or someone you know — has a persistent low mood and any of the above symptoms, it may be worth discussing the issues you are facing with your doctor.