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Myths and Warning Signs of Depression

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Depression is a serious mental condition that can have a dramatic impact on the daily lives of its sufferers. As with most mental conditions, depression can be extremely difficult to treat and diagnose. As such, the best way to deal with the disorder is by spotting the warning signs before they blossom into full-blown depression -- and taking the proper pre-emptive measures.

With so much information -- both accurate and inaccurate -- regarding depression floating around, it’s important to differentiate between fact from fiction. It is vital that doctors and patients alike take the proper measures against this mental disorder. Check out of the more well-known facts and myths regarding depression below:

Myth: There is an age requirement for depression. Teenagers and tweens simply have nothing to be depressed about.

A number of studies conducted by researchers have pointed out that depression is a condition that knows no age boundaries. Too often, the mental distress of young people is written off as “moodiness” or misplaced sadness, when in reality it boasts the exact same symptoms of depression that is prominent in adults. Further, depression is not specific to one age group, gender, ethnicity or social group.

Myth: People suffering from depression should just be left alone until they feel better.

Depression is an actual mental disorder. As such, it requires legitimate professional treatment from trained therapists, counselors or other forms of medical personnel appropriately trained for the matter. On top of that, particularly serious cases of depression often require medication to help alleviate the symptoms – something that can only be done by getting help.

Myth: No good can come from discussing depression.

The truth is, simply talking to someone who is dealing with depression or depression-like symptoms can make a world of difference. Even if the depression sufferer doesn’t experience relief from talking about what is causing them emotional distress, by talking to them, you may be able to convince them to get appropriate help.

Myth: Depression is not a real mental illness; it’s just people feeling sorry for themselves.

Depression is a mental disorder in the most literal sense of the term, according to top experts in mental health studies. There is absolutely no reason to treat the condition with anything but the utmost seriousness and care.

Below, you can find five of the bigger warning signs/symptoms of depression generally found in sufferers:

1. A lack of interest in activities the person used to be interested in. Typically, people who suffer from depression lose interest in doing things they once enjoyed doing. This can range from dropping out of social events like clubs and sports teams, to walling themselves off from outsiders with whom they once shared a hobby. This symptom of depression typically goes on to worsen the condition, because it hurts some of the social relationships that depression sufferers previously engaged in.

2. A noticeable change in eating habits is another big warning sign of depression. While there are obviously a number of reasons why one might change their diet, big shifts in weight gain and/or weight loss typically signify a loss of interest in eating or a lackadaisical attitude towards making food. This symptom, in turn, can negatively impact a depression sufferer’s physical health.

3. Suddenly noticing an increase in the number of headaches, stomachaches and physical symptoms is another sign of depression. While depression in itself is a mental condition, it is often accompanied by a number of physical discomforts like headaches and stomachaches.

4. Constant fatigue or an inability to sleep is a big warning sign of depression. This can either come as a slight problem with sleeping enough to feel fully rested, or it can be full-blown insomnia. Waking up too early or constantly waking up during the night are other common signs of depression.

5. The biggest sign of depression is thoughts of suicide or hurting oneself. Unlike the other symptoms, which on their own can be indicators of a number of conditions, this particular symptom is very cut and dry.

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