Symptoms of depression can overlap with other conditions, so you might consider a second opinion on your depression diagnosis.

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Even though depression is a common mental health condition, it can be difficult to diagnose because everyone experiences the symptoms differently. Depression can mimic other health conditions.

Depression affects nearly 280 million people globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). While a misdiagnosis of depression is relatively uncommon, it is possible.

The telltale signs of depression are feelings of sadness, irritability, and a loss of interest in the things that once brought you joy. Also, some people may experience other symptoms, such as exhaustion or changes in appetite or weight.

If you feel you have received an incorrect diagnosis, consider getting a second opinion.

Are you receiving treatment for depression but still don’t feel like yourself? Though your treatment plan might need adjusting, you could also be living with one of these conditions commonly mistaken for depression.

Iron-deficiency anemia means your body doesn’t have enough iron. Iron is needed to help carry oxygen through your blood to all parts of your body.

You may experience symptoms of fatigue and weakness, which are also symptoms of depression.

Anemia also has the following symptoms:

  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • brittle nails
  • shortness of breath

Also, untreated anemia can lead to depression. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consider reaching out to a healthcare professional.

Anxiety disorders can also mimic depression. But depression and anxiety disorders are two disorders with common symptoms that overlap.

Common symptoms include:

  • irritability
  • restlessness
  • disrupted sleep
  • fatigue
  • poor concentration

In addition to these symptoms, people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) may experience excessive worry and distress, among other symptoms.

ADHD isn’t just a common disorder in children. The National Institute of Mental Health says many adults also live with the condition.

People living with ADHD may experience:

  • difficulty concentrating
  • restlessness
  • lack of motivation
  • lack of interest in activities

If you have any of these symptoms, a mental health professional may note the overlap between the symptoms of depression and ADHD.

These symptoms are often confused with depression symptoms, especially with the demands of adulthood. Many adults feel their symptoms kick into overdrive, so they feel overwhelmed. This can easily be diagnosed as a symptom of depression.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) affects a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks due to overwhelming fatigue.

Symptoms that often mimic depression are:

  • excessive fatigue
  • sleep disturbance
  • difficulty concentrating

Still, people with CFS may have other symptoms not commonly associated with depression, including joint and muscle pain or tender lymph nodes.

Diabetes is a chronic health condition in which your body cannot produce enough insulin or use insulin to regulate your blood sugar effectively.

Many folks who live with diabetes may tell their doctor they feel tired, irritable, and complain of weight loss — all potential symptoms of depression.

But low blood sugar can cause low energy and irritability.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms and other classic symptoms of diabetes — excessive thirst, hunger, and frequent urination — consider speaking with a healthcare professional to get tested for diabetes.

A common cause of depressive symptoms can be traced to the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck. This gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolism.

If your thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones, your metabolism will slow down. A slowed metabolism can result in sadness, anxiety, and depression.

Common symptoms of depression and hypothyroidism include:

  • fatigue
  • low mood
  • difficulty concentrating
  • irritability

If you experience dry skin, thinning hair, and a sensitivity to cold, you may want to consult a healthcare professional about hypothyroidism.

Have you ever felt so hungry you feel angry or irritable? It may not be depression but low blood sugar.

Feeling “hangry” can be caused by low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia.

Hypoglycemia is when your body experiences very low levels of sugar, one of your body’s energy sources. A drop in blood sugar causes similar symptoms as depression — irritability or intense fluctuations of emotion.

Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia can be diagnosed through testing. If you receive a diagnosis of hypoglycemia, your physical symptoms of low blood sugar and depressive symptoms might subside with treatment.

A vitamin D deficiency is a global health issue that affects an estimated 1 billion people.

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in your body. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, you could experience fatigue and muscle aches that can mimic depression. Still, those living with depression experience many more symptoms.

If you’re experiencing depression or vitamin D deficiency symptoms, consider speaking with a healthcare professional. They can recommend a blood test to see whether you are deficient in vitamin D.

The classic signs of depression are feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Some people also feel:

  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • have trouble concentrating

Many of these symptoms overlap with other medical conditions. Consider talking with a doctor if you have any of these symptoms and the other symptoms mentioned earlier.

There is hope even as you work through your symptoms. There are steps to manage depression and treatments for all other health conditions mentioned.

These strategies can help you manage symptoms of depression:

These strategies work best as a supplement to your treatment. Self-care can prevent you from feeling worse when facing severe yet treatable health disorders.

If you’re not satisfied with the diagnosis you’ve received or the treatment plan, consider getting a second opinion. Also, try to be patient with yourself and the process. Treatment plans aren’t always perfect, and finding a suitable process isn’t always straightforward.