Do You Know the 5 Most Common Signs of Depression?

Therapy for young adult depression, Newport Beach California, Irvine California, Psychologists

Depression is one of the most common health issues in the United States, and many people mistake it for something else:

“I feel so tired and lethargic, I must need more sleep.”

“I’ve lost my motivation, maybe I just need more coffee.”

“My appetite has gone up/down, there must be something wrong with my stomach.” 

“My body aches all the time, I must be coming down with something.”

All of these things could easily be caused by depression - which means things can get better with the right support! 

OC Psychology Center provides outstanding treatment services for depression because we know how the five most common signs of depression – the Five D’s - can disrupt your day, and we want to help get you back on track. 

To get help for yourself or a loved one in overcoming depressive symptoms, contact us today!  We serve people from all over the Orange County area – people just like you.  To learn more about The Five D’s of depression and what you can do about them, read on!

The Five D’s of Depression

Therapy for Depression in Adults, Newport Beach, California, Adult Psychologist

#1: Distress

Distress can mean both emotional hurt as well as physical symptoms.  The emotional signs tend to be easily recognized: are you feeling overwhelmed?  Lost?  Stuck?  Does life feel unbearable, or does your past tend to haunt you?  However, the physical signs are often overlooked: do you have bodily aches or pains that are not improved with medicine or physical therapy?  Do you have poor sleep, poor appetite, or poor sex drive?  All of these distress signals can indicate that you may be struggling with depression. 

If you are experiencing any of these things, here are some things you can do to feel better:

  • Be active for 15 or more minutes per day – even a short walk will do. 

  • Avoid drinking beer, liquor, or wine – alcohol is a depressant, which means it worsens depressive symptoms.

  • Wake up at the same time every day – consistency in wake time will improve your ability to fall and stay asleep when needed.

#2: Dysfunction

Dysfunction means not being able to do the things you need to do or want to do in life.  This can include poor performance at school or at work, but it can also mean having difficulty in relationships.  Depression causes us to feel and act differently, which is why many people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their symptoms.  These behaviors then lead to other problems, and the cycle of dysfunction continues. 

If you are noticing areas of dysfunction in your life, here are some tips to help restore functionality:

  • Get support from others – rely on other people around you (and find a therapist!) to help you get back on track.

  • Organize and set goals – take time to organize your day, week, and month in a way that allows you to set goals for yourself and make progress.

  • Join a group – consider attending a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous or a local grief support group to help with specific issues you are coping with.

#3: Defeat

Many people with depression experience feeling defeated, worthless, or ashamed.  Things may not have worked out the way you wanted, and you may not be living the life you always wanted.  Fortunately, as you begin to conquer your depression and begin doing the things you care about again, these feelings can be replaced with joy, pride, and satisfaction. 

There are some things you can do to get yourself unstuck and regain a sense of purpose, such as:

  • Volunteer your time – pet shelters, homeless shelters, and churches can always use a helping hand.  When you help others, you also help yourself.

  • Call a friend or family member once per week – touching base with a loved one, even just to check in, can help you feel more connected and less distant. 

  • Be creative for 15 or more minutes per day – when you draw, paint, or play music, you allow your mind space to be in the present moment.

#4: Distance

Depression can make you feel distant from others, as well as prompt you to withdraw and spend more time alone and isolated.  Humans are wired for connection and relationship, and when we become disconnected, we feel less whole.  This is why therapy for depression is so powerful – it helps you reconnect with others as well as yourself. 

If you have begun to notice distance from others, here are some ideas to get you reconnected:

  • Sit in social venues – spend time in coffee shops, malls, and other social locations so that you are spending time around others (it still works even if you don’t talk or engage!).

  • Add an event – you may have felt unmotivated to go to that party or social gathering, but if you can get yourself there it will make a world of difference.

  • Look to the margins – look to connect with others who seem isolated or left out and provide them with a space to experience friendship.

#5: Disregard

Depression can make people stop caring, which means they disregard themselves. Sometimes people will feel like their life is meaningless, that nothing matters, which is why many people with depression also experience thoughts of suicide.  If you feel like nothing matters, these feelings call for urgent professional assistance.  If you or a loved one is experiencing these things, please reach out to us today.  For immediate assistance, call 911 and/or seek consultation at your local emergency department. 

The best way to begin caring again is to first care for yourself.  Even small actions like these can make you begin to feel like life is worth living:

  • Take a shower – keeping up your personal hygiene is absolutely critical for helping yourself feel more human and more alive.

  • Give yourself three square meals – remember to eat and take care of your body the way you would care for someone else. 

  • Find time for fun – depression often makes people disregard the things they used to enjoy, like hiking, watching sports, or painting.

What else can I do?

We are here for you! 

If you believe that you might be struggling with depression, we offer treatment and assessment options specifically designed to help both children and adults. 

It can be difficult to ask for help – but this is an important first step to take on your wellness journey! 

And, you don’t have to do it alone. 

Interested?  Let’s work together.


We’re here for You

Do you or a loved one want help with ADHD, anxiety, depression, or other issues?  Let’s connect!  Contact us today to learn how OC Psychology Center can help make things better. 

Our office is located in Newport Beach, California.  We work with families from all over the region – Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Fountain Valley, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, Rancho Santa Margarita, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Tustin, Seal Beach, and beyond.  If you feel we would be a good fit for you or your child’s mental health needs, let’s connect!


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