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5 Symptoms Not Commonly Associated With Depression That Should Not Go Unchecked

More than 7% of the adult population of the United States suffers from depression — an astonishing 17 million people. With the stigma that surrounds mental illness, many people don’t seek treatment, which could help them lead more fulfilling lives.

Board-certified psychiatrist Amr Beltagui, MD specializes in helping his patients deal with depression and its effects. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to recognize signs of depression in yourself or others around you. Here are five lesser-known symptoms that you might not immediately associate with depression. 

1. Changes to sleep patterns

If you or a loved one suddenly becomes a night owl while sleeping during the day, this change in sleeping habits may be an indicator of depression. Many people with depression shy away from the bustle of the daylight hours, feeling more comfortable under the cover of darkness. This can interfere with restorative sleep, an essential healing mechanism for maintaining mental health. 

2. Forced happiness

If you regularly try to put on a happy face to interact with the world, forcing a smile when you feel anything but cheerful, it could be a sign of depression. It’s likely easier to recognize your own feelings of unhappiness in this regard, but spotting it in others is trickier. Observe your loved ones in moments when they think no one is watching. If their hidden mood is at odds with their interactive selves, they may be hiding depression.

3. Choosing pessimism

A shift in perceptions or outlook could also be masking a turn toward depression. If you or a loved one starts questioning the world in a negative light, this can be a sign of a mood disorder. Philosophizing about the futility of it all, questioning one’s existence, and contemplating death particularly when it represents a significant shift from regular behavior, could reveal depression.

4. Social Avoidance

Introverted people often seek ways around social situations, and it may be no cause for concern. However, if you’re a social butterfly and you’re increasingly making excuses to get out of school, work, or social events, this tendency toward isolation points toward depression. Skipping out on life from time to time is normal, but when it becomes a habit, it could be a depression clue. 

5. Aches and fatigue

Changes in your physical health that aren’t explained by injury or exertion could be clues from your brain that all is not well. While depression is a mental disorder, it can manifest itself in general aches and pains with no physical cause. If you greet each day with a body that complains, and there’s no physical reason for the discomfort, you may be dealing with depression.

Depression is a serious condition that can lead to complications including weight gain, anxiety attacks, decline in health, and suicidal thoughts. Like many medical conditions, it’s easier to treat in its earliest stages, so contact Dr. Beltagui now, before depression begins to take over. Simply call the office at 909-217-7785 or use our online booking tool to request an appointment. 

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