5 Key Symptoms of Depression

Feeling low, anxious or upset? Is psoriasis taking a toll on your mental health? Dr Khor Yek Huan talks about 5 key symptoms of depression that you may have overlooked.

1. Loss of interest1

Does your favourite TV series no long capture your attention? Bad script writing may not be to blame. Patients suffering from depression commonly describe a lack of interest in doing things they once enjoyed. Their favourite past times such as reading or going to the movies fall by the wayside when depression hits. Patients have also described a lack of interest in sex with their partners, resulting in strained relationships.

2. Sleep disturbances

Sleep quality and depression are closely linked . One of the most common signs of depression is insomnia or the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep2! Oddly, even sleeping too much can be a sign of depression. Disrupted sleep has also been shown to cause irritability and increased tension2. Studies have shown that increasing quality sleep in depressed patients can improve outcomes3.

3. Feeling hopeless, worthless, empty, angry, or irritable1

While some people suffering from depression feel like their outlook is bleak with no light at the end of the tunnel, others find themselves lashing out at loved ones and constantly being annoyed4. This can sometimes lead to violent outbursts which can have detrimental effects on personal relationships.

4. Changes in appetite5

Like sleep disturbances, appetite changes can vary from overeating to not eating at all. Changes in appetite can sometimes be attributed to other symptoms such as a loss of interest in eating, which is common among the elderly. On the other hand, feelings of sadness or worthlessness can make some people overeat!

5. Inability to focus and poor concentration6

Multiple episodes of depression can significantly impact concentration. From an inability to focus on daily tasks such as staying focused during work or classes, or having trouble remembering instructions, depression can leave you feeling unfocused and lost. Additionally, the loss of focus makes it difficult to make even small decisions throughout the day!

Can you relate to any of these symptoms? Has psoriasis affected your mental health? Discuss them with your doctor during your next appointment.

References

1 WebMD. How are psoriasis and depression linked? Available from https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/psoriasis/psoriasis-depression-link#1. Last accessed July 4, 2019.

2 WebMD. Sleep and depression. Available from https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-sleep-disorder#1. Last accessed July 4, 2019.

3 Murphy M, Peterson M. Sleep disturbances and depression. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5678925/. Last accessed July 4, 2019. 4 Help Guide. Depression symptoms and warning signs. Available from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-symptoms-and-warning-signs.htm. Last accessed July 4, 2019.

5 Everyday Health. Depression’s effect on your appetite. Available from https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/major-depression/depressions-effect-on-appetite/. Last accessed July 4, 2019.

6 Healthline. MDD and loss of concentration. Available from https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/managing-major-depressive-disorder/mdd-and-loss-of-concentration#1. Last accessed July 9, 2019.