While most people go through periods of feeling blue or sad, lingering sadness may also indicate the presence of depression. Depression can include different symptoms in people who have this condition. Although puffy eyes can occur for various reasons, including allergies and injuries, they may also appear when you are depressed.
Depression is a term used to describe ongoing feelings of sadness and discouragement. While depression is more common in women, it can also occur in men, teens and younger children. Triggers that may increase your chances of depression include stress, hormonal changes, loss of a loved one or a traumatic event.
Although the symptoms can vary, many individuals experiencing depression often feel hopeless, anxious, empty, irritable, worthless or restless. These feelings can affect your normal routines, leading to sleep disturbances and crying, behaviors that may cause your eyes to appear puffy and swollen. You may also feel tired all the time and have difficulty making decisions and remembering details.
While puffy and baggy eyes may be the result of a lack of sleep or spending too much time in bed, they can also appear for other reasons. Mild swelling and bags under your eyes are generally harmless. However, since your eyes are often the first feature people see when they look at you, certain practices can help minimize the appearance of puffiness.
Although you may think that a cocktail will numb your pain or lift your spirits, alcohol can contribute to swelling and puffiness around your eyes. Excess amounts of sodium can also increase swelling in your body, including the area around your eyes. Eye creams, especially those that contain caffeine, may help dispel fluid from your eye area, reducing the puffiness. Cold compresses and cold metal spoons may also minimize localized areas of swelling.
Although anti-inflammatory medications and skin treatments can help reduce your eye puffiness, your doctor may be more concerned with treating your underlying depression. Depression is highly treatable, even in severe cases. Start by talking to your doctor who can help determine whether a medical issue is causing your depression or the puffiness around your eyes. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience sudden changes in vision or have thoughts of harming yourself or others.