Bad mood or depression? Here’s what you need to know

Do you often feel sluggish and tired? Do you always feel hopeless that it takes control over your life and you lose interest in activities you used to enjoy? You might dismiss those episodes as mood swings, but in fact, you might be depressed. Depression is a serious medical illness that negatively affects the way you think, feel, or act, and should be addressed immediately.

“Depression is more than just a bad mood and can happen to anyone. It’s important for people to be educated on the symptoms as well as the ways of overcoming depression so they can seek help for themselves or their loved ones who might also be going through it,” said MediCard president Dr. Nicky Montoya.

How can you tell if you’re suffering from depression? Here are some warning signs:

Fatigue and loss of interest. Feeling lethargic all the time is a common sign of depression. Depression also hinders you from doing and enjoying the things you used to do like hobbies, going outdoors or even hanging out with friends.

Irregular sleep. Depression and sleep are closely linked to each other. A change in your sleeping habits – the inability to sleep (insomnia) or oversleeping – could be a sign that you are depressed.

Appetite or weight changes. Another warning sign of depression is a significant change in your appetite or weight. A distinctive factor to find out if the weight changes are related to depression is whether it is intentional or not. If the change is unintentional, it’s possible that depression is the cause.

Suicidal thoughts. Depression is often connected to suicide, according to studies. If you are thinking of harming or killing yourself, it is a strong indication that you are depressed.
As Dr. Montoya said, depression is preventable and treatable. Here are some ways to overcome depression.

Stay connected. Reaching out to people is an essential part of your recovery. Isolation fuels depression, which is why it’s a big help to stay connected to your family or peers even if you always want to be alone. Attending social activities, even if you don’t feel like it in the moment, may also prove helpful.

Exercise. Working out is another good way to combat depression. While exercising, your body releases feel-good brain chemicals that may boost your mood. Start with a routine you can follow every day, such as continuous and rhythmic exercises like walking, swimming and dancing.

Seek professional help. If you already made changes to your life to overcome depression, but it seems like your situation hasn’t changed, it’s time to see your doctor for a thorough check-up.

Depression should not be taken lightly. If you are experiencing these warning signs, it’s best to get professional help. MediCard has 14 free-standing clinics located in key cities nationwide that offer consultations. Visit a MediCard clinic near you or check out www.medicardphils.com for more information.