There are any number of difficult situations in life: money hardships, health concerns involving you or a loved one, and relationship issues, to name a few. Often these events make you feel sad and lonely, and your feelings are normal reactions.
Unfortunately, if you have depression, you may find that feelings of sadness, isolation, and fear persist without the presence of normal life stressors. You may also find that your feelings are overwhelming and interfere with your ability to function.
At Arlington Family Practice, our team of medical professionals help you understand your condition and work through the emotional and physical hardships you may face. Men, women, and children in Arlington, Massachusetts, can count on our team to listen to your concerns and offer compassionate care. We recommend treatment options that can help you feel more like yourself.
Depression is a mental health condition
You may hear people dismiss depression as “just the blues,” but in reality it’s a diagnosable health condition that can have severe consequences if left untreated. Because it’s a mood disorder, it’s not something you can treat on your own or that you can just “snap out” of.
If you have depression, you’re not at fault, and it’s not a personal weakness. You shouldn’t feel as though you can’t tell someone how you feel or seek help.
If you or a loved one is experiencing thoughts of suicide, get immediate assistance and contact emergency services.
With May designated as Mental Health Month across the United States, it’s worth noting the following signs and symptoms of depression that warrant medical intervention. It’s time to seek help from a professional if you have the following:
Strong, negative emotions
If you’re depressed, you experience feelings that can be extreme and overwhelming. They won’t go away easily, if at all, and they can occur in frequent episodes throughout each year. You may feel:
- Sad, tearful, empty, and hopeless
- Uninterested in your normal activities
- Extremely tired and fatigued
- Anxious, agitated, and restless
- Fixated on feelings of failure, guilt, and worthlessness
- Thoughts of death or suicide
It’s also worth noting that your gender and age can be an influence in the symptoms you experience. Men are more likely to feel irritable and angry, engage in reckless behavior, and abuse substances such as drugs and alcohol. They are also less likely to recognize that they have depression or seek help. Women who have depression tend to feel worthless, guilty, and sad.
In young children, depressive feelings often manifest as separation anxiety, clinginess, and refusal to attend school, while teenagers exhibit more moodiness, extreme sensitivity, and poor school performance. Older adults can experience depression, too, and may seem less social or show changes in memory and personality.
If you or a loved one experiences these overwhelming feelings, it’s time to seek help.
Sadness that many people experience with the normal stresses of life might be strong for a week or two, but then it gradually fades. The strong emotions that accompany depression can last for weeks, months, or longer and occur almost every day — for nearly the entire day.
If your feelings of sadness and loss of interest in normal activities last longer than two weeks, and your thoughts and behaviors have been noticeably different in that same time period, it’s time to come see the team of providers at Arlington Family Practice so you can start to feel more like yourself again.
Trouble with daily functioning
Because the feelings associated with depression are overwhelming and persistent, the disorder can impair your ability to function normally. You may notice that you simply don’t want to participate in the same activities as you did before, and that even if you do want to return to your normal hobbies, it’s more difficult to find the energy.
This is because depression has accompanying physical symptoms that can interfere with your everyday life. They include:
- Trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
- Body pains such as headaches and backaches
- Difficulty concentrating
- Weight loss or weight gain associated with increased or decreased food cravings
- Fatigue that makes simple tasks take extra effort
Medical intervention can help you regain the ability to live your life the way you’re used to, so if you find yourself struggling with daily tasks, it’s time to reach out for assistance.
At Arlington Family Practice, we listen to your concerns to help find the best treatment for your depression symptoms, whether medication, therapy, or both. Don’t wait to make an appointment if you think you or a loved one may be depressed. Contact us by phone or online today.