Today I want to talk about depression and some of the more uncommon symptoms associated with it. So often, when we talk about depression, we talk about the symptoms of sadness associated with it. While this is a very common and real experience for a lot of people struggling with depression, we sometimes forget there are many other symptoms that can come with it. Being unaware of these important symptoms of depression can leave us confused when they manifest seemingly out of nowhere and can make us overlook some key warning signs. It’s important to remember that we’re all so different and come from many different backgrounds, so your own experience with depression can look completely different than that of a friend’s. Understanding these important differences can help us support one another and recognize when we or our friends need help.
Depression does not only include emotional symptoms, but physical ones as well. Some symptoms other than persistent sadness can include:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
- Having an “empty” mood,
- Loss of interest in activities you once found pleasurable
- Low energy and feeling persistently tired
- Having difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- Having difficulty with memory and concentration
- Persistent aches or pains
While this is by no means a complete list, having some of these symptoms for at least two weeks may be a sign of depression. Depression is a very common illness, but it looks different in everyone. It’s also important to know that it is treatable. There is still hope. One of the most important steps is to realize you may have a problem and that you need help. Make an appointment with a doctor or health care provider who specializes in treating mental health conditions such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Treatment options can include medications, talk therapy, or a combination of the two. If you feel scared about making your first appointment, talk to someone you trust, and see if they will help you with the process. Remember, you’re not alone.
Here’s a list of services that may help you along the way:
- UVic Counselling Services
- Counselling for Indigenous Students
- International Student Services
- Centre for Accessible Learning
- NEED 2: Suicide Prevention and Education
- Vancouver Island Crisis Society
- Victoria Sexual Assault Centre
- Men’s Trauma Centre
The views expressed in this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the polices or views of the University of Victoria. I monitor posts and comments to ensure all content complies with the University of Victoria Guidelines on Blogging.