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People with depression deal with several symptoms. While some of them may be easy to recognize, others may not be as obvious. From reduced cognitive functioning to irritability and even weight changes, a person dealing with depression could struggle with several issues that often get brushed off as “irresponsibility.”

If you or a loved one is dealing with depression, knowing and understanding the lesser-known signs of depression can give you better clarity on how to manage the condition.

Signs of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is one of the lesser-known signs of depression. Substances like alcohol and drugs can block emotional pain and provide a false sense of euphoria. However, these effects only last for a short period, after which the substance needs to be reused. This could lead to addiction and other cognitive disorders.

People struggling with addiction may also start intaking larger doses of the substance and become highly dependent on it. Hence, it’s best to seek professional help as soon as you notice signs of addiction in yourself or a loved one.

Further, alcohol and prohibited substances have a two-way relationship with mental health and can cause depression and other mental health issues to aggravate.

Fluctuations in Appetite and Body Weight

Depression can take a toll on the body by interfering with the person’s natural appetite. Some people might experience increased appetite. Coupled with a sedentary lifestyle and lethargy that often comes with depression, this can result in unhealthy weight gain.

Conversely, depression can also result in loss of appetite and drastic weight loss. These issues could be further compounded by the unrealistic body standards set by society. People suffering from depression could be quite fragile. When subjected to body shaming, the depression might worsen.

Reduced Cognitive Capabilities

Depression can severely impair neural functions such as working memory, long-term memory, and critical thinking. These issues usually stem from gray matter structural abnormalities in people suffering from depression.

Such abnormalities lead to a significant drop in productivity, physical energy, and creativity. Hence, sudden drops in academic or professional performance could be early signs of depression.

Chronic Fatigue and Pain

A drop in serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin levels could lead to chronic fatigue and mood swings. Hence, fatigue is a common sign of depression. People dealing with depression may also develop insomnia and other sleep-related disorders. They may also feel disinterested in things they were previously interested in and generally feel tired and exhausted most of the time.

Ignoring the signs of depression could further complicate the condition and make it harder to deal with. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, contact our professionals at Pristine Mental Health. Our goal is to provide high-quality mental health care to suit each patient’s individual needs.