Last updated on July 1st, 2021 at 07:15 pm
Some types of mental health conditions such as depression can come in waves. You could experience a period of positive, stable mood, and then out of nowhere, you could notice your mental health taking another downturn. It is common for some people to experience chronic depression, represented by repeated depressive episodes over the course of time. When a person takes one of these downturns, they are often left wondering why is my depression getting worse?
I always remind my clients that when they notice that their depression is getting worse, don’t hesitate to seek support and help. There are many great compassionate therapists available online to offer effective, ongoing support for new clients who struggle with depression.
If you have concerns about your depression getting worse, click the orange button below to explore your treatment options. With assistance, you can start to overcome your depression and restore your quality of life.
Signs Depression Is Getting Worse
I have found that some people may find it more difficult than others to notice when they are on a depressive downtrend, but by paying attention, you can learn to recognize telltale symptoms and warning signs. For instance, someone may feel more despair, doubt, or sadness, or they may have increased difficulty with symptoms associated with socializing, eating, or sleeping.
You should know that there are different types of depression and each can have a range of symptoms. Additionally, changes can come on suddenly or can be slow, steady changes that can creep up. You may not realize it until your mood suddenly feels a lot worse than normal.
If you have any of the following signs that your depression is getting worse, you should talk with your therapist, primary doctor, or another mental healthcare professional. Speaking with a telehealth therapist about any of the following symptoms is a good first step.
Lack Of Interest Or Motivation
Depression is known to decrease energy levels and you may experience a loss of pleasure in things you typically enjoy, such as your favorite hobbies. As you work through your treatment plan, your energy and interest in such things is likely to return.
However, as your depression worsens, you might experience anhedonia, which will make it seem impossible to find any sort of pleasure or joy. You may lose all motivation for hobbies, socializing, or exercise.
Basic things like going to work, showering, brushing your teeth, or doing laundry might feel beyond what you are capable of at that moment. I have seen people struggle with these basics things and it is a sure sign that their depression is getting worse.
When you’re depressed, it can be difficult to enjoy the companionship of others. You might not have the energy to socialize, or you may feel emotionally numb which can make social interactions seem trivial and pointless.
Increased feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and irritability can further exacerbate your poor mood and make isolation and avoidance seem to be better options.
Spending time alone is perfectly fine when you enjoy it. However, if a sense of loneliness overcomes you, that can make your situation much worse. Isolating too much might make you think that nobody cares about you nor understands you.
Changes In Eating Or Sleeping Patterns
Depression frequently affects people’s sleeping habits and appetite.
For some, getting to sleep and staying asleep becomes a challenge. They are left feeling exhausted all day. On the other hand, other people become so tired that they struggle to stay awake during the day.
These changes in sleep patterns can affect your concentration and energy, making you less productive. It can also lead to more easily making mistakes or errors in judgment.
In regards to appetite changes, some people tend to overeat, while others lose their appetite completely.
Reasons Why Your Depression Is Getting Worse
It’s normal for mental health symptoms to change over time. Such changes don’t always have a clear reason. For some people, however, they occur in response to certain triggers.
Below we discuss a few reasons that could be causing your worsening depression.
Undiagnosed Mental Health Condition
You may have another, undiagnosed mental health condition such as bipolar disorder. Your depression may not improve until you are properly diagnosed and adjust your treatment accordingly.
Loss of sleep can cause other mental health symptoms such as anxiety, which in turn can worsen your depression.
In my experience, stress is a very common reason for depression to get worse. Complications at work, a recent breakup, financial issues, relationship troubles, or anything else that causes friction in your life can hinder your recovery.
Some people with depression are either on medication or in therapy. While one of these approaches alone may work from some, most do better with a combined approach. If your current treatment plan seems to not be working, speak with your healthcare professional about making adjustments.
Some types of medication can cause depression symptoms to get worse. Check the label of any medications you’re taking for potential side effects.
Talk with your therapist, counselor, or doctor if you think your depression is getting worse due to medication. Ask them about alternatives.
FAQ’s About Worsening Depression
If you are currently being treated for depression, it can be confusing if you begin to experience worsening symptoms. This leaves some people with a lot of questions. Below are some frequently asked questions about worsening depression.
Why Is Depression Worse In The Morning?
Some people who struggle with chronic depression report worse feelings in the mornings. Because of the disruption in sleep patterns that we just mentioned, there is a disruption in some people’s circadian rhythm, which is the cycle of our mental, behavioral, and physical changes. When this rhythm gets thrown off, we as people suffer.
Does Depression Get Worse With Age?
A common question that I get asked is does depression get worse with age?
Overall, depression is less common in those 65 and older. This could be related to older people feeling a great stigma with admitting to psychiatric issues.
Although depression and other mood disorders are less frequent, older people tend to have more severe consequences. For example, compared to younger people, older people with depression are more apt to complete suicide.
The misconception that feeling sad and depressed is just a normal part of aging leads to the underdiagnosis and treatment of anxiety and depression in the over 65 age group.We may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling services we recommend.