A person’s mental health is just as important as their physical health, but with mental health, it can be much harder to identify when you are simply going through a rough emotional patch and when you should seek professional help. At times, it will be much easier for a loved one to spot the signs. Around the world, about 350 million people are affected by some form of depression, but with close friends and family keeping an eye out, more people can get the help they need in the form of therapy or medication.
5 Common Signs of Depression
Troubles maintaining their weight.
Depression may manifest in some as loss of appetite and in others as consistent overeating. People may not eat as much because they feel that it doesn’t matter, or they do not have the energy to make the effort of getting food for themselves. When people overeat, they may be trying to find solace or joy in food. Of course, when you see a weight change in a loved one you may not know if it was intentional, but if they haven’t indicated a new exercise regime or diet, you could infer that depression is the issue.
Losing interest in hobbies.
When a loved one starts to significantly draw away from the activities they use to enjoy, they may be depressed. Different sports, hobbies, travel, and even sex can lose the pleasure they once had for someone with depression.
Issues with a consistent sleep schedule.
Similar to how someone’s eating habits can be affected, depression can influence how a person sleeps in either extreme. Depression creates strong feelings of fatigue, which can lead to oversleeping and trouble getting out of bed. On the other side, insomnia is commonly linked to depression. In many cases, insomnia causes depression, as a lack of sleep can trigger depression’s other symptoms like lost interest in hobbies and difficulty concentrating. In others, insomnia is caused by being in a depressive state, which can then lead to anxiety as well.
Being generally unfocused is another indicator of depression. If you notice that a loved one has trouble remembering things, concentrating, or making decisions, you may want to gently probe to see if there is an outside factor affecting their focus. If not, they may be depressed.
Feelings of “lessness”.
People with depression often have strong feelings hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness. Their self-confidence and self-worth are often at a very low point and they may harbor feelings of guilt for things they’re not necessarily responsible for. This also often creates a generally pessimistic outlook, sinking them in an emotional hole that is difficult to climb out of.
In this big, complicated world, we need to look out for our family and friends. Check in on loved ones when you’re able to, and especially if you sense that they are going through any of the symptoms above. Sometimes it is very difficult to get mental health help for yourself and a small push from a trusted friend or family member is what it takes to get life back on track.