We all have the idea that depression is all about - continuous low mood, having no interests in doing the things you love, disturbed sleep, isolating yourself and being indecisive. And that’s all true! However, there are more symptoms of depression that are lesser-known. Continue reading as I tell you symptoms that may surprise you.
Aches and Pains: Many people who go through depression will experience back pain, sore chest and chest pains. These pains aren’t usually associated with any specific injuries. There are studies to suggest that pain and depression share a neurological pathway, meaning the more depressed you are, the more painful your body will become.
Forgetfulness/ “Brain Fog”: A lot of people will say that they often feel forgetful. Countless studies show that people with depression have a tougher time remembering the specific details of their lives, meaning they can remember the overall event but not in particular detail.
Changes in Menstrual Cycle: Cortisol is a stress hormone and it rises during a depressive phase. Due to this, messages to the brain are being sent to the brain and reproductive system which leads to a delay in your period.
Guilt-ridden: The constant thought of feeling guilty over the most ridiculous things is something that people with depression have gone through. It consumes the mind to the point where the depressed will start to question everyday activities or major life roles.
Moving or speaking more slowly than usual: Slowing thoughts and physical movements are known as a severe symptom of depression. Speaking and moving more slowly is due to decreased energy levels. It is also known that certain chemical changes in the brain can cause this.
As someone who experiences depression, I can say that I have gone through aches and pains, brain fog and delay in periods. It‘s a crippling feeling. Before any knowledge of depression, I didn’t understand why I was experiencing such. I began questioning which led to anxiety taking over. I thought there was something physically wrong with me. Glad to say that my mind was exaggerating and physically I was fine.
How to overcome and control your depression is by;
Get Enough Sleep: Poor sleep patterns can contribute to depression. Whether it’s the depression causing it or the lack of sleep. So try to arrange a time to sleep and a time to wake up. Even an hour before your bedtime, you should give yourself some time to unwind down. Turn off your devices and read a book, listen to music or listen to a podcast.
Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant and drinking can worsen your depression. It decreases inhibitions and potentially leads to risky behaviours and poor decision making which can have long-term consequences. While alcohol might seem like a quick fix to escape reality, it is NOT the answer. Also, do not drink while on medication, as they don’t interact well.
Exercise: Regular exercise encourages the brain to think in positive ways. That is because of the chemical known as endorphins. Now, you don’t need to run a marathon. Try and find a fun activity to do. Whether it’s taking a dance class or rock-climbing.
Eat Healthily: Foods such as sweets, high-fat dairy products and refined grains, when eaten in a large amount, can cause a risk of depression. So take these foods in moderate consumptions and eat foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole-grains.
Avoid Caffeine: Take a step back when it comes to caffeine. Coffee, soft drinks and even chocolate have excessive amounts of caffeine. It’s fine to eat/drink a fair amount but do not become dependent on it. It can lead to interference with sleep. So avoid it by gradually cutting it back. You will experience caffeine withdrawal, but distract yourself and it will pass.
If you or someone you love are showcasing signs of depression, you should make an effort in learning more about the illness, including the symptoms so that you can know what to expect. You should also look into treatment options such as therapy and medication and most importantly, make them know or yourself that you are not alone. :)
If you want to get in contact with your local helplines then visit:
- Indie Sahota