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You might recognise the hallmark sign of depression — feeling persistently sad.
But did you know it can cause constipation? Or even back pains?
These are just two of the little-known warning signs of the mental health disorder, which affects 280million people worldwide.
MailOnline’s round-up of some of other symptoms of depression comes after John Fetterman, Pennsylvania Senator, yesterday returned to congress after almost two months away for clinical depression.
The Democrat sparked concern with his ‘frightening’ and ‘concerning’ first speech.
The videos of Fetterman speaking during the meetings were posted to Twitter Wednesday afternoon by Greg Price and immediately blew up, receiving millions of views in hours
Changes in appetite
An unintentional change in appetite can be caused by depression.
Whether someone starts to eat less and lose weight or start to eat too much and gain weight, a constant low mood can be to blame, according to Mind.
The NHS also lists a change in appetite as a symptom of depression, but the reason for this is unclear.
The Priory Group, best-known for treating celebrities battling addictions, says it can happen when depressed people lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, such as cooking or eating.
‘People tend to feel low in energy when they are depressed – this can mean having to cook or eat may feel like too much for them,’ it adds.
‘Depression can also cause people to feel sad, worthless or hopeless. With so much going on in their mind, they can forget to eat.’
Low sex drive
Depression can affect your sex life, too.
In fact, stress, anxiety and depression have all been found to cause a lower libido, according to the NHS.
Imbalances in the brain chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, are associated with depression and are thought to play a role in this change in sex drive, experts say.
A low libido can also be the side effect of some antidepressants, says the NHS.
Stress, anxiety and depression have all been found to cause a lower libido, according to the NHS
It’s a vicious cycle.
Poor sleep can leave you vulnerable to the darkest depths of depression, scientists say.
Yet being depressed — and battling the challenges posed by daily life — can equally ruin your attempts at getting any shut eye.
But, it doesn’t just disrupt your sleep and cause insomnia, it can also make you want to sleep all the time.
As well as all of the above, physical symptoms of depression include moving slower than usual.
THE SIGNS YOUR CHILD MAY BE DEPRESSED AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
Signs of depression in children can include:
- Prolonged sadness
- Lack of interest in things they used to enjoy
- Fatigue and exhaustion
- Insomnia or sleeping too much
- Poor concentration
- Lack of confidence
- Eating too much or too little
- Inability to relax
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Numb to emotions
- Thoughts about suicide or self harming
- Self harming
Some also have physical symptoms, like headache or abdominal pain.
Older children may misuse alcohol or drugs.
Depression in children can occur due to family issues, bullying, other mental-health problems, or physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
It can be triggered by one event, such as a bereavement, or a build-up of things.
If you suspect your child is depressed, try to talk to them about how they are feeling.
Let them know you are concerned and you are there if they need you.
If they will not talk to you, encourage them to reach out to another relative, teacher or family friend.
If this does not help, contact your GP, who may refer your child to a specialist mental-health service.
So much so that it can even make taking showers, brushing your teeth and cooking difficult.
The NHS also says it can cause sufferers to speak slower.
It is known medically as psychomotor retardation. Scientists aren’t sure how, or why, it happens but they think it might revolve around low levels of the ‘feel-good’ chemical dopamine.
Neglecting hobbies and interests
A lack of interest in things that once excited you may not always be a cause for alarm.
But it is often associated with depression.
The NHS says the illness can cause people to have no motivation, no interest in things and a lack of enjoyment out of life.
Avoiding contact with friends
Just like losing interest in hobbies you once loved, depression can also make you want to isolate yourself away from your friends.
Avoiding social events you usually enjoy and feeling isolated or unable to relate to other people is associated with depression, Mind says.
Other social symptoms can include having difficulties at home, work or in family life.
Feeling irritable and intolerant of others can also be a sign of depression, according to the NHS.
Difficulty making decisions
If you are struggling with depression, you may find it hard to make decisions.
Finding it harder to articulate your thoughts, think clearly or make simple decisions is a warning sign of depression, according to Mind.
It can also make it harder to concentrate on tasks.
‘Depression typically stems from an interruption or reduction of the brain’s chemical messengers,’ NeuroScienceNews says.
‘These interruptions may also impair your cognitive abilities.’
Depression, stress and anxiety can all wreak havoc on your bowel movements, too.
Any worry and upset can disrupt the delicate balance of digestion, according to the NHS.
It adds that, in some people, digestion can slow down and cause constipation, bloating and pain, but others find it speeds up cause diarrhoea.
Not eating properly, which can be a symptom of depression, can also harm your digestion.
For some people with depression, digestion can slow down and cause constipation, bloating and pain, but others find it speeds up cause diarrhoea
Depression can also cause some people’s movements and thoughts to speed up, as opposed to slow down.
Psychomotor agitation, which is common in psychotic episodes, can mean people are unable to sit still or relax and constantly fidget, the NHS says.
This restlessness can also cause people to feel agitated, according to Mind.
People with this symptom of depression can be more likely to have suicidal thoughts, the NHS warns.
Aches and pains
Physical aches and pains with no obvious physical issue can be a sign of depression according to Mind.
You can feel aches in your stomach, pain in your legs and arms and feel fatigued when you have depression.
This could be because your body is in a constant state of stress, which the NHS says can cause your muscles to be tense.
Another theory is the pain could be caused by the dysregulation of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is thought to cause many symptoms of depression.