Over the past few years, people have learned that depression–known medically as “major depressive disorder”–should not be taken for granted. The deaths of several world-famous celebrities who committed suicide because of depression–including Hollywood star Robin Williams and rock icons Chris Cornell and Dolores O’Riordan–have made this mental illness a trending topic on social media.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 300 million people of all ages are suffering from depression. But how do we recognize when we or someone we love has depression, and how can we get help?

Depression is a mood diqsorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in things we used to enjoy. It affects how we think, feel, and behave and can lead to emotional and physical problems. When it comes depression, early detection is the best way to get help, treat, and manage the disease.

Watch out for these ten early signs of depression:

  1. Persistent feelings of sadness

A person with depression feels a deep sadness that lasts throughout the day, every day or almost every day, for weeks or months. Such feelings of sadness may be accompanied by feelings of hopelessness or emptiness. There may or may not be a known reason for the sadness.

For example, a person may get depressed after a break-up, losing a job, or the death of a loved one. If the depression is the “normal” type and not an illness, it will eventually resolve on its own after a few days or weeks. But if the sadness persists beyond 2 weeks, and especially if there is no identifiable reason for the sadness, that is a red flag that a person may have major depressive disorder. In such a case, the person will show other symptoms.

  1.    Loss of interest

The inability to feel pleasure is a common symptom of depression. The person may eventually lose interest in things that he used to enjoy.

  1.  Angry outbursts

Not all depressed people become socially withdrawn. Some depressives may find themselves expressing their depression through aggression. They’re usually highly sensitive with a short fuse.

  1.   Trouble thinking

Depression can affect a person’s cognitive abilities, causing problems with concentration and memory. They might experience some difficulty with their studies or work.

  1.   Tiredness for no reason or feeling of fatigue

People experiencing depression can often lead to sluggishness. They may have trouble waking up in the morning and getting out of bed, and cannot work up the energy to perform even basic tasks.

  1. Change in sleeping pattern

It’s either the person with depression is sleeping too long or suffers from the inability to fall asleep.

  1. Reduced or increased appetite

This condition can also affect your appetite. A weight gain or loss can be an early sign of depression.

  1. Unexplained physical pains

For most Asians, depression can give rise to body pains without any medical cause and do not respond to any treatment.

  1. Suicidal thoughts

This is an immediate warning sign. If the person has thoughts of suicide, he/she should get help as soon as possible.

  1. Feeling guilty about events outside of your control

Another symptom is guilt. The person may feel helpless to change their circumstances and end-up being critical of themselves. They also blame themselves for their depression.

Depression is a medical illness. It must be treated immediately and people with this condition need medical and social support. Help someone with their battle against depression. Contact ManilaMed or visit their website to schedule an appointment.