Depression is a treatable disorder in most cases. Much like all disorders, early detection and treatment can be the difference between a long term fight and a speedy recovery. Knowing the signs of depression will help you know if someone you love has the disorder.
What are the Common Signs of Depression?
Some common symptoms of depression are agitation, restlessness and fatigue. Symptoms often manifest at unfitting times, and can be recognized as unwarranted responses. If you are sleeping constantly but are still tired, for instance, it could be a sign of depression. Other examples include becoming irritated without cause or avoiding participation in activities once enjoyed.
If you notice a friend or family member experiencing extreme behavioral changes, this could be a sign of depression. Other symptoms of depression include feelings of worthlessness, unwarranted guilt and excessive or constant thoughts of death. Although most people go through some of these unwanted emotions from time to time, their consistent manifestation is a sign that the person might be clinically depressed.
What Should You Do if You Believe a Loved One Has Depression?
A strong network of social support is often critical to successful treatment for depression. Clinical treatments vary from professional therapy sessions to pharmaceutical treatment with antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Regardless of the methodology of treatment, the support of family and friends provides comfort to a person suffering through the physical and emotional torment of depression.
Speaking to a friend or family you suspect has depression is a logical place to start. Don’t overwhelm him, but bring up that he hasn’t seemed himself. Many people with depression may not realize that there is anything wrong physiologically, as emotional symptoms can be difficult to identify, isolate and quantify.
What if Your Loved One Doesn’t Respond to the Communication?
Many brain disorders are difficult to treat, and depression is no different. Feelings of irritability, low self esteem and hopelessness can make it hard to convince a person living with depression to seek help.
If you attempt to intervene and the approach fails, try gathering a supportive group of close friends to confront the person together. The relative shock that comes with this technique may prove more successful than a 1-on-1 interaction.
Also consider the connection between depression and bipolar disorder when trying to identify inconsistencies in loved one’s behaviors.