Major depressive disorder is a mental health disorder that affects many people every day. The symptoms of severe depression are serious. They can disrupt your daily life, impair relationships and damage your own well-being. Major depressive disorder manifests symptoms of severe depression that involve drastic mood changes. While mood changes can often be healthy experiences, the shifts associated with severe depression can have a negative effect on one’s daily life. If you or someone you know may be experiencing severe depression, it is important to look out for the common symptoms that may appear. This can help you get the support that is right for you as soon as possible.
7 symptoms of severe depression to recognize
- Persistent sadness — People with major depressive disorder often report feeling “down” for extended periods of time. If you experience prolonged periods of sadness, it could be a symptom of severe depression. You may find shaking these feelings away to be challenging. It can be especially difficult if these feelings have persisted for months or years. When considering your emotional state, understanding that your feelings are valid is essential. It is important to seek help when needed too; getting help from others is a sign of strength, not weakness.
- Lack of interest — A person experiencing severe depression can lose interest in things they used to enjoy. A noticeable decrease in interest or enjoyment of activities you once loved can be a telltale sign of depression. This symptom of severe depression is not limited to hobby activities. It can affect your interest in socializing and even spending time with loved ones. Recognizing this is an effect of a mood disorder can help shift your perspective. Your joy can be reclaimed with personalized strategies like process-based therapy.
- Appetite changes — Depression can have different effects between individuals. While appetite changes are a common symptom of severe depression, these changes can fluctuate. Some people experience increased appetite, while others can lose their desire to eat. Sudden appetite changes can lead to major weight fluctuations and affect your physical health. They can also contribute to feelings of guilt already intensified by depression. It is important to recognize when a change in appetite is influenced by a mental health disorder rather than other factors.
- Disturbed sleep patterns — Do you have trouble sleeping? If this is accompanied by other symptoms of severe depression, it may be a symptom as well. Major depressive disorder can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or excessive sleeping. Previous routines may be overtaken by newly irregular sleep patterns. A person experiencing depression can have difficulty waking up in the morning as well as going to bed at night.
- Energy loss — Feeling constantly tired is a common sign of depression. Simple tasks that once required little effort may feel overwhelming. Uncompleted tasks can build up, making it seem even more challenging to complete them all. A good adult mental health treatment program can address this both inside and outside of standard treatment sessions.
- Difficulty concentrating — Depression can make it challenging to focus on any one task. This can affect work, education and your personal life. You may realize your mind is wandering during important events. Major depressive disorder can lead you to be distracted easily. By acknowledging this symptom, you can begin taking steps to address it. Techniques such as setting achievable goals and breaking tasks into less intimidating steps can be a great start.
- Suicidality — One of the most critical symptoms of severe depression is suicidality. Behavioral health organizations are often highly responsive on this issue and can provide guidance and helpful resources. If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide, please seek immediate help. You can also call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.
Lightfully Behavioral Health can help address severe depression
If you are experiencing the symptoms of severe depression, it is vital to get the help you need. At Lightfully Behavioral Health, we are passionate about helping our clients improve their mental health. Our approach looks at each client as a multifaceted human being, not a diagnosis. We focus on exploring the underlying causes that contribute to each client’s depression in order to better address their symptoms. Taking the step to access our health services can lead to a brighter future, reconnecting you with the things you love.
Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.