• Leilani Xue

Early Signs of Depression

We are inching into the year of 2021 and still fighting the pandemic. As the lack of interaction increases, we may find ourselves developing feelings of loneliness and isolation. Several mental health disorders can be developed and worsened during the pandemic, and the topic today will be focused on depression.

“Depression” is a very popular term that is often used in daily conversations: People say, “This is so depressing”. Unfortunately, many throw this term around and are oblivious to the severity of depression.

It is imperative to understand that depression is a major mood disorder, which cannot and should be not taken lightly. Depression is a feeling of absolute hopelessness in life and its symptoms are known to readily interfere with a person’s daily tasks. Using “depression” as a superficial slang term continues to misinform our community. And if it continues to be ridiculed, those who really suffer from depression will be less likely to talk about their disorder. As a result, their recovery will be longer and more difficult.

Luckily, this term can be used without any misinformation. To help you understand when the term “depression” should be used, the information below gives you an idea of what depression looks and feels like.

Many often confuse sadness with depression. While sadness often lasts a few days, feelings of depression are said to last at least two weeks. Although feelings of sadness are short-term and often go away quickly, depression (in most cases) must be treated because it is much more severe. The most common reasons for depression are suffering a loss, abuse, substance use, and major events (graduating, a new job, etc.).

Even if you have not experienced any significant changes in your life, depression may be connected to many other things. And because of that, it is difficult to determine whether you might have depression or not. Here are some early signs of depression that might be experienced (for at least 2 weeks):

  • Feeling sad and empty

  • A changed diet: eating less or more

  • Over sleeping or sleeping less

  • Slowed speech

  • Difficulty thinking and/or making decisions

  • Having suicidal thoughts

Even if you may not be experiencing any of these symptoms, keep an eye out for anyone around you who might, and make sure to continually monitor your own health. A doctor can confirm if you have symptoms, and provide a formal diagnosis for you or anyone else.

It is my hope that this blog has been helpful. Please be aware that even if all this information does not apply to you if you are feeling uneasy and think you may have depression, it would be best to consult reputable resources. They will be much more thorough and specific; this blog is only meant to give you a general idea of the early signs of depression.

Best wishes.