Take our online depression self-assessment

Wondering what depression feels like and whether you have it? Taking a self-assessment quiz can be a great start. By comparing the symptoms of depression with your own condition, you can get a better understanding of your mental health. Speaking with a mental health professional can also be highly beneficial. The symptoms of depression are not always the same for everyone. Depression is a complex and often misunderstood mental health condition. It is more than just feeling down or having a bad day. People with major depressive disorder (MDD) tend to experience mood changes and other symptoms that last for extended periods of time. If you want to learn more about what depression feels like, gaining a better understanding of the most common symptoms can help.

What depression feels like: Common symptoms

  • Overwhelming sadness — Feel sad or down often? While occasional negative feelings are normal, frequent and overwhelming sadness can be a sign of a more significant mental health condition. Depression is commonly associated with a deep sadness that is hard to shake. There may be a perceived cause for this sadness, such as a recent loss or traumatic event. In other cases, people with depression may feel sad without any apparent cause. The negative feelings associated with depression can last for days or weeks at a time. You may experience waves of negative emotions or a steady, continuous feeling of sadness. If persistent negative emotions are getting in the way of your daily life, seeking treatment is essential.
  • Loss of interest — Another hallmark symptom of depression is losing interest in the things you enjoy. This is sometimes associated with a symptom called anhedonia, which refers to an inability to experience pleasure. Even if you are not experiencing an increase in negative emotions, you may notice a decrease in positive feelings. This symptom can make it hard to participate in your regular activities. Hobbies and social relationships may lose their appeal. When you have depression, it can feel like what you do has little or no meaning. A significant loss of interest may be caused by imbalances in the reward centers of your brain. Treatments like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) can help renew activity in these areas and boost your motivation.
  • Low energy — People with depression often experience a lack of energy. You may feel like tasks that are normally easy now require too much effort. The fatigue that comes with depression is much different from regular exhaustion. It can cause you to feel chronically tired, sapping your motivation. People with low energy levels from depression often find it challenging to even get out of bed in the morning. Having little energy can make it difficult to be proactive in receiving treatment. However, finding effective care is essential for improvement. With the right kind of treatment, you can boost your energy levels and return to engaging productively with the world.
  • Changing sleep patterns — Experiencing sudden changes in your sleeping routine? These changes could be caused by depression. While depression often affects sleeping patterns, the effects tend to differ between individuals. Some people sleep excessively due to chronic fatigue. If you find yourself taking frequent naps and sleeping in every day, this could be a warning sign. Other people with depression have trouble getting to sleep. Insomnia can prevent you from getting the rest you need. This can exacerbate any fatigue you are already experiencing.
  • Guilty feelings — If you feel like you are to blame for whatever negative aspects are present in your life, you may have depression. Depression often comes with intense self-critical thoughts. You may start to blame yourself whenever things go wrong. Many people with depression feel like they are failing to meet expectations, especially when other symptoms make it hard to keep up with responsibilities. Addressing guilt and low self-esteem is a key aspect of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). With CBT, you can break out of negative thought patterns. Your therapist can help guide you toward a better outlook on yourself and your future.

Active Path Mental Health can help treat your depression

Depression is challenging and often isolating. If you are experiencing the signs of depression, receiving treatment is vital. At Active Path Mental Health, we are here to help. Our team is equipped with top-notch mental health treatment techniques and technology. Each of our treatments is designed to offer lasting relief and improvement. We can help you on your journey to long-term mental health flourishing. 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment.

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