When many people think of depression, they often think of feeling sad; however, depression can display itself through a variety of symptoms. Both men and women can experience depression, as can children, teenagers, and older adults. While anyone can experience depression, not everyone will share the same symptoms. While it’s common for a person’s depression to manifest through suicidal thoughts, lethargy, and feelings of sadness, there are lesser known symptoms that are just as prevalent. If you or someone you know is displaying any of the six following symptoms, it may be due to depression.
1. Feeling Angry
Many of us understand depression can display itself as feeling isolated, alone, and disinterested in things we usually love. What many people don’t realize is that another common symptom of depression is anger. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and our sense of “fight or flight” can be affected by this, causing people to experience angry outbursts over simple things. Anger is a common symptom of depression among teenagers, but is also seen in men and women as well.
2. Frequent Headaches
Have you been experiencing frequent headaches or other unexplained aches and pains? This is another symptom of depression that not many people recognize. Frequent headaches, sudden back pain, and muscle aches can all often be the first symptom that appears when a person begins experiencing a depressive episode. However, as depression can manifest in physical ailment, chronic physical ailments can also lead to depression.
3. Unable to Concentrate
Depression is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain. As areas of the brain that are responsible for regulating the creation and retrieval of memories are affected by this imbalance, individuals will begin to experience symptoms such as difficulty concentrating, thinking, making decisions, and remembering information. Losing the ability to concentrate and pay attention affects adults as well as children and teenagers. This can be seen in a decline in school work in children and teenagers and a decline in work performance for adults.
4. High- Risk Activities
When many people think of depression, they think of being unable to get out of bed, self-isolation, and a lack of energy. While those are all common symptoms of depression, they are not the only behavior changes exhibited. It is also a common symptom among men with depression to turn to alcohol or drugs and to turn to other high-risk activities.
5. Change in Sex Drive
Another depressive symptom seen among men and women is a change in sex drive. Some people experience a loss of libido, and men may also experience difficulty in maintaining an erection. This can be due to the lack of energy and loss of interest depression causes for many, but researchers are still investigating to find out the exact cause.
6. Digestive Problems
It’s common to experience either an increase or decrease in appetite while depressed and experience either weight gain or weight loss. In addition to a change in appetite, some adults and children experience digestive problems as a symptom of depression. Worry can cause constipation as well as nausea or diarrhea. By not eating enough or eating too much can also impact the intestinal tract along with not getting enough exercise. In some cases, some individuals may experience a stabbing or burning stomach pain. This could be the result of stomach ulcers that formed from being in a state of worry or anxiety.
If you’re experiencing depression, you’re not alone. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States and is thought to be caused by a variety of factors including genetics and environmental stress. No matter the cause of your depression, the TMS Center of the Lehigh Valley is here to help. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.