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Could You Be Depressed and Not Realize It?

Could You Be Depressed and Not Realize It?

More than 8% of women and men in the United States experienced at least one major depressive episode in 2021, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Depression is a serious mental health disorder that can reduce your quality of life and increase your risk for self-harm or suicide.

You may think that depression means feeling sad. Though some depressed people do feel chronically sad, depression can affect your entire body and create a wide range of symptoms that dampen your joy and negatively affect your quality of life.

You could even have depression and not even realize that it’s at the root of your troubles. Getting a diagnosis for depression allows you to understand why you struggle with certain issues and gives you a path forward.

At The Soho Center for Mental Health Counseling, our counselors help you feel better by thoroughly evaluating your health and mental health to identify what’s at the root of your struggles. If you have depression, we recommend either in-person treatment at our offices in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, or HIPAA-compliant teletherapy.

Do you have depression? Following are some questions that may give you the answer.

Do you have a hair-trigger temper?

If you feel chronically irritable, you may also get angry at the smallest provocation. Angry or violent responses to everyday irritations can destroy relationships and careers.

Although you might think that anger is the opposite of depression, it’s actually a symptom. Men, especially, are more likely to feel angry or irritable when depressed, rather than sad or blue.

If anger is part of your depression, you may benefit from anger management, too. In addition to identifying and expressing the feelings that underlie your anger, you learn new ways to react to challenging or infuriating situations. 

Are you tired all the time?

If you feel sleepy or groggy throughout the day, you may have sleep apnea or another disorder that interferes with your sleep. Or, you may have poor sleep hygiene and never feel rested.

However, if physical causes of your sleepiness or fatigue are ruled out, depression may actually be at the root of your listlessness. When you feel sad, overwhelmed, or disappointed, the stress of those feelings can literally rob you of energy.

When you learn what’s at the root of your depression, you can also learn to address it. By dealing with your feelings and identifying the problems that make you feel hopeless, you can reclaim your energy and your vivacity.

Do you have trouble concentrating?

If you get distracted easily and struggle to maintain your focus, you may think that you have attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In fact, you may have depression (or both).

When you’re depressed, your brain’s activity is literally depressed, too. It’s harder than normal to concentrate and maintain your attention. 

Do you have weight or sleep troubles?

If you can’t fall asleep, or if you awaken frequently or too early, you may be depressed. Depression and anxiety cause stress. Stress triggers your body to release cortisol. High cortisol can disrupt your sleep.

Stress also affects the hormones that control appetite and metabolism. If you’re depressed, you may lose your appetite (and weight). Conversely, you may eat more than you typically do in an attempt to self-medicate, so you gain weight instead.

Does life feel hopeless or joyless?

When you’re depressed, you may lose interest in the things — and people — that used to give you joy. If you’ve given up hobbies, quit activities or jobs, or broken up relationships or friendships, you may be depressed.

You also may find it hard to get excited about anything. You don’t have anything to look forward to, or you feel like you’ll never achieve your most cherished goals. If you start to think of suicide or contemplate self-harm, call or text 988 for the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline or call 911.

Does your body hurt?

Unexplained aches and pains may have depression as an underlying cause. When you’re stressed and in a high-cortisol state, you may unconsciously clench your muscles. Depression can lead to aches and pains such as:

Once you learn to manage your emotions through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and other treatments, your physical symptoms should ease, too.

Get help for your depression and enjoy your life again by contacting our caring and sensitive team by phone or using our online form. You may be able to choose between in-person and teletherapy sessions.

 

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