You’re Eating More (Or Less) Than Usual
Depression leaves you withdrawn and checked out, and that can manifest as a loss of appetite. “If your brain is preoccupied with negative thoughts, you may forget to eat or lose interest in cooking or preparing meals,” said Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D., a Los Angeles-based psychologist specializing in depression and self-esteem. On the other hand, sometimes the disease kicks in the opposite effect, driving you to overeat. “The mix of emotions that tend to accompany depression—sadness, pessimism about the future, and low self-esteem—can compel you to try to soothe your feelings with food binges,” said Thomas.
You’re Sleeping Too Much or Too Little
Some people with depression find themselves snoozing under the covers more; the disengagement and dip in energy make you tired all the time, said Thomas. “Sleeping more is also a way depressed people escape from their sadness; it becomes a refuge,” said Thomas. Others with depression experience restless or interrupted sleep or even insomnia—they’re too wired by obsessive thoughts or ruminations to wind down and score the seven to eight hours per night most adults need. Thing is, not only can sleep changes help you know if you’re depressed, but they also make it worse. When you’re not getting the proper amount of shuteye, your body’s internal clock gets out of sync, and you’re even more tired and unfocused…and less able to cope.