How to tell if you have depression

Depression is a condition that affects not only the mind and emotional health, but can bring on physical symptoms as well. If you or somebody you know is suffering from depression, taking action quickly is of critical importance. To know and understand what depression looks like, it’s important to know what to look for.

At Albemarle Square Family Healthcare in Charlottesville, we provide mental health care as part of our clinical practice. If you’re experiencing depression, anxiety, or other issues, please make an appointment with us and we can discuss the next steps to take. Give us a call to schedule your appointment today!

Here are some of the symptoms of depression.

Difficulty Sleeping

Difficulty sleeping can show up in a few ways. You might not be able to sleep at all, and lay in bed at night feeling anxious, sad, or restless. The lack of sleep can cause a decline in physical health, which can exacerbate your depression. The other side of this coin is that some will sleep nonstop, spending so many hours in bed every day that they rarely see their family, eat, or engage in other self-care activities.

Loss of Interest

Hobbies, activities, and other things that were once a joy aren’t so joyful any longer. A person experiencing depression will withdraw from these once happy activities, as well as from family, friends, and other important people in their life. They might show a decline in productivity at work or school. They could also withdraw from their significant other and find no interest in sex and relationships.

Change in Appetite

A person who once had a robust appetite might not feel the urge to eat at all anymore, resulting in a drastic weight loss. Conversely, somebody who once watched everything they ate could be overeating for comfort now, using food to treat their feelings. This could also include over-indulging in alcohol, binge drinking, and other unsafe behaviors.

Trouble Concentrating

Depression can cause difficulty in concentrating, and a person might find that they’re no longer able to pay attention to detail. They could experience forgetfulness, having problems remembering details, and might not seem to care. They could make decisions that seem out of character, including big, life-changing decisions that involve finances and other things.

Hopelessness and Pessimism

Things can seem so hopeless that there is no foreseeable solution in sight to the depressed person. They won’t feel as if anything they want is possible, and could just give up altogether. When you try to offer solutions, help, or work on problem-solving solutions with them, they might merely shrug and show no interest, or come up with a million reasons why it’s not possible.


Sadness is probably one of the most obvious signs of depression. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is crying all the time. Their overall mood could appear down and disaffected, and they might internalize it. Sadness is common after life-changing events such as a death or loss of job, but when the sadness doesn’t get better after some time, it’s time to seek help.

Crankiness and Irritability

Even the most patient person might snap at little things, have a short temper, or show little patience. They could express this as showing irritation over small things, or showing larger displays of temper. If you notice that this is out of character for a loved one, they could be feeling depressed.

Physical Symptoms

The physical symptoms of depression can show up in several ways. Stomach pain, persistent heartburn, digestive issues, and vomiting that is ongoing and doesn’t seem to have a cause could be the result of depression. Unexplained aches and pains that aren’t traceable to a specific cause, as well as headaches and other non-specific pains and cramps, could indicate depression.

Suicidal Thoughts or Suicide Attempts

If you or a person you know has thoughts of suicide, or that everybody would be better off without you, you need to contact your healthcare provider without delay. Additionally, if you or somebody you know has attempted suicide, getting help is of the highest importance.

Your mental health is important to Albemarle Square Family Healthcare, and we are here to help you. If you need counseling, medication, or other forms of care, we can work on a plan for you. Give us a call to make an appointment today.