3 MIN READ | Clinical Psychology

5 Common Symptoms of Depression – And How to Cope with Them

Dennis Relojo-Howell

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Dennis Relojo-Howell, (2021, April 13). 5 Common Symptoms of Depression – And How to Cope with Them. Psychreg on Clinical Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/common-symptoms-of-depression/
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You’re lying in bed for the third day in a row. You wish you could get up and start living your life again, but everything feels impossible. 

Could you be depressed?

The line between major depressive disorder and sadness is sometimes hard to define. However, depression as a mental illness has clear distinctions from feeling low.

Let’s go over five common symptoms of depression and tips to help cope with them. The advice listed in this article should be a complement, not a replacement, for treatment prescribed by a mental health professional. 

Constant tiredness

Some people with depression wake up in the morning feeling exhausted. Chronic fatigue prevents them from completing daily tasks, like homework or personal hygiene. They spend most of their time sleeping or tossing and turning in bed. 

If you feel constantly tired, try keeping a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. You can also give yourself time in the morning to quiet your mind. Consider skipping your morning cup of coffee for a few days in a row so that your body can reset its natural circadian rhythm.

Insomnia or difficulty falling asleep

Chronic fatigue may also be the result of a lack of sufficient sleep. In many cases, depressed individuals experience insomnia. Because of the condition, they have a hard time falling or staying asleep. A person might stay up until the early morning or wake up before the worms. 

Those who have insomnia could benefit from taking all screens out of their room. Try using black-out curtains or a sleep mask to block external light. Limiting caffeine and alcohol could also help. 

Self-isolation

When you’re depressed, you might feel disconnected from your loved ones. The disconnect may result from a feeling of being unlovable and could lead you to isolate yourself. You might turn to internet content to keep you company. 

You can break the cycle of sinking into depression and secluding yourself. Write a list of whom you want to connect with and how and then contact them. You can also look into how the link between porn and depression affects your relationships.

Physical aches and pains

While classified as a mental illness, depression can negatively affect the entire body. The physical symptoms are primarily chronic; they tend to stick around despite some treatments. 

A depressed person might experience:

  • Constipation
  • Gas or bloating
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Random spikes of pain

For some discomforts, deep stretching sessions or breathing exercises help. Otherwise, try taking pain medicine or rubbing a salve on the area. You can also see a pain specialist who will help you develop a treatment plan. 

Unwanted appetite changes

Depression affects everyone’s relationship to food but in unique ways. Some depressed individuals might lose their appetite and go for days without eating. If you struggle to eat, try starting with a bit of sugar before mealtime.

On the other hand, food could become a coping mechanism. To fight the negative feelings, or boredom and loneliness, one might overeat. Try enjoying meals on a schedule to reduce over-consumption.

In both cases, eating small meals and snacks throughout the day could help stabilize your appetite. Choosing fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, beans, and vegetables, could help you fill fulfilled with appropriate portions. 

You are not alone

The symptoms of depression vary case by case. Some people will experience all five listed above, while others won’t have any. But, do not worry about how distinctly your mental illness manifests itself. 

Major depressive disorder impacts almost everyone, whether directly or through a loved one. You are not alone, and you will get through this. Talk with a therapist or psychiatrist to get the help you need. 


Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg.

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