Joseph came to my office seeking treatment on at the request of his family physician. He told me he had little to no energy, walking around feeling as though he was carrying an extra 100 pounds on his shoulders. He said he had difficulty getting up in the morning.
"Just thinking about getting up and taking a shower feels overwhelming to me." He said. He told me he found himself yelling at his wife and children over little things, like not closing the back screen door or moving the TV remote someplace else. Joseph said he felt stuck in his life but didn't know why and hopeless that anything would change.
"Do you feel depressed?" I asked.
"No. Just angry a lot." He responded.
"Is it possible that you may be suffering from some sort of depression?"
"No." He said. "I don't feel depressed or like killing myself or anything. I just have no energy and my doctor said there is nothing wrong with my physically. So he told me to come to see you." He said.
But the reality was Joseph was suffering from depression. While a typical warning sign of depression is an extremely sad mood, it isn't the only warning sign out there. Joseph's recollection of decreased energy, feeling overwhelmed, "stuck" or hopeless, and increase anger are all signs of major depression.
Other warning signs include increased anxiety, weight gain or weight loss, and sleep disturbances. A change in activity level, like distancing yourself from your friends and family may also warn a practitioner that depression may be looming.
So even if you don't actually feel depressed, but you display some of the signs listed above, it may be in your best interest to seek expert help in addressing and fixing what is wrong.