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7 Symptoms Never to Ignore If You Have Depression


Nearly 16 million adults in America experienced at least one episode of depression over the past year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Depression can be caused by a medical condition like cancer, certain medications, sensitivity to seasonal light levels, giving birth, or having a family history of mood disorders. Depression might make you feel sad or hopeless, and in its more serious forms can provoke suicidal thoughts. If you have been diagnosed with depression, you should stay alert to changes in your condition and watch for these depression complications that should never be ignored.

1) Suicidal thoughts or thinking about hurting someone else Depression symptoms can range from mild feelings of lethargy and disinterest in pleasurable activities to dark emotions that include suicidal thoughts. And sometimes people in deep depression think about hurting other people too. If you find yourself believing that your family would be better off without you, or that you wish you could harm someone you feel has wronged you, please seek immediate medical attention by calling 911 or a crisis hotline. Even depression this serious can be treated by adjusting your medications or talking through your emotions with a professional.

2) Feeling hopeless When depression has you in its grip, you might feel as if your life can never get better. Fortunately, these feelings of hopelessness can be treated. And you should treat them, because unremitting hopelessness can lead to suicidal thoughts. If you’ve been diagnosed with depression and find yourself feeling hopeless about the future, please contact your therapist or doctor right away. In many cases, depressive thoughts like these respond well to adjustments in medication.

3) Sadness that won’t go away Many people with depression never experience “sadness.” Instead, they report reduced energy levels and a disinterest in activities they previously found pleasurable. If you start feeling sad when you previously were not, or if your sadness gets worse over time instead of getting better, contact your medical provider or therapist for help. Mood-related symptoms of depression often can be effectively treated with adjustments to medication dosages or by changing antidepressant medications altogether. Don’t allow yourself to suffer with sadness when a simple treatment change might help.

4) Self-medication with drugs or alcohol People with depression will sometimes seek any avenue for relief of their symptoms. When that avenue leads to drug or alcohol misuse, though, you should contact your healthcare provider. If you take antidepressant medications, you should be careful not to mix alcohol or other drugs with them. Combining certain substances with antidepressants can cause you to stop breathing, have a seizure, or experience some other bad reaction. If you have become addicted to drugs or alcohol, seek help. Your provider can help you manage your depressive symptoms without the need to use alcohol or drugs for relief.

5) Insomnia Depression often causes changes to a person’s sleep patterns. People with depression may sleep much more or much less than usual. If you begin to experience insomnia or difficu