Top 10 Symptoms of Depression and How to Get Help

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The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

There are many signs that your mental health may be worsening. If you are feeling sadder than normal for long periods of time without cause, you may be considering whether you have depression. After all, depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world. 

We’ve listed the top ten symptoms of depression, so you can speak with your provider if you think you may have it. Remember that this guide is not a diagnosis and instead a helpful framework to bring to your therapist when you feel concerned. 

1. Feelings of Prolonged Sadness 

One of the most telling symptoms of depression is the long-lasting sadness that comes with it. Many people who experience this condition will feel deeply distraught and sad for weeks or months at a time. Some may even feel it for years. 

Depression is different than normal sadness because it is more stubborn and long-term. It may not go away with traditional methods of curing sadness, such as spending time outside or having a conversation with a family member about how you feel. 

It’s important to remember, however, that depression is not just sadness. It has a lot of pieces and symptoms that go into it, which can be pinpointed by a trained psychologist. 

2. Feeling Worthless 

If you feel more down on yourself than normal and feel that you do not have worth, this is a classic symptom of depression. Often, the sadness you feel can cause you to think that you are not a good person or do not deserve to feel happy. 

If you do feel worthless, it’s important to get help and speak to someone as soon as you can. 

3. Difficulty Taking Showers and Caring for Hygiene

Depression can cause difficulty taking showers and caring for your hygiene. You may not feel motivated to get out of bed and shower, or it may feel more difficult than usual. 

Often, those who are severely depressed will go a week or more without washing or brushing their hair. You may also skip out on regular routines like brushing your teeth or wearing makeup. You may find it difficult to change or wash your clothes. 

4. Difficulty Performing Daily Tasks or Work 

Since depression affects motivation so closely, you may also struggle with daily tasks when depressed. These tasks could be anything from your day job to simply taking out the trash. You may also neglect to clean your room or make your bed or let trash pile up near your bed. 

It is very common for those who are depressed to neglect these things, and it doesn’t mean you’re gross, dirty, or bad. Although many people may judge you for struggling in this way, there is hope and help around the corner. You deserve the chance to feel motivated again. 

5. Feeling Unmotivated By Usual Motivators

One of the big tells that you may be experiencing depression is not feeling motivated by something that would normally motivate you. For example, perhaps you love a certain video game. Every time you play it, you get excited. 

However, lately, every time you think of playing the game, you feel sad or irritated instead and don’t feel the urge to play it. If you do play it, you get bored quickly and feel like there’s something else you want but can’t find. 

If that sounds like you, it might be a symptom of depression. 

6. Feeling That Nothing Is Making You Happy, No Matter How Hard You Try 

Like the previous point, those who are depressed often feel that nothing is good enough to cure the sadness. You may try to garden, go on walks, talk to friends, or even clean your house, and it doesn’t provide long-term relief. If that is the case, getting help from a trained professional may be the best option for you. 

7. Difficulty in Relationships

Depression may also impact your ability to have a healthy relationship. You may feel that there is no use in continuing the relationship, you may lose loving feelings for your partner, and you may feel unmotivated to spend time with them like you used to. Their love for you and reactions to you may not make you feel better at all. 

It’s important to remember that this doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t love your partner. Love is an emotion, and it does come and go, just like sadness. Your depression also may not last forever. You will most likely feel more connected to your partner once more. 

8. Sleeping More Than Usual

The lack of motivation and sadness that come with depression can also cause extreme sleepiness. You may find yourself sleeping way too much and not being able to wake up in the morning. Or you may be on the opposite end of things and have difficulty falling asleep at night. 

Many people with depression will stay awake late and end up sleeping long hours during the day. Having a messed-up sleep schedule can also worsen depression, which can cause a cycle. 

9. Crying More Than Usual

With more increased levels of sadness comes more frequent crying. Not everyone with depression cries a lot, but some do. If you notice yourself tearing up at everything or feeling deeply saddened by things you can usually handle, this is a sign of an issue. 

10. Suicidal Thoughts and Urges 

Finally, a common thread in cases of depression is the urge to commit suicide or not live anymore. If you are feeling this urge, help is available right now. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) today. They are available 24/7. 

If you have a plan to hurt yourself or commit suicide, call 911 or find a way to your nearest emergency room. There is hope around the corner, and people do want to help you. 

How to Get Help 

Finally, if you’re ready to get help for your depression, several options are available. You can try: 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT or traditional talk therapy) 
  • Medications for depression 
  • Psych evaluations to get a diagnosis
  • Mental health hospitalization (short or long-term care)
  • Support groups 
  • Trauma therapy (for those with trauma history) 
  • Calling a hotline or reaching out for support online
  • Online therapy 

There are so many options available. All it takes is the first step. You’re already online reading this article, so why not take the next step and research one of the options above now. 

If you want to learn more about depression, you can also check out this site for more in-depth information.