It’s natural to feel low occasionally. But when hopelessness and despair become omnipresent and difficult to control, it might be depression. More than mere sorrow in reaction to life’s hardships and losses, depression impacts how we think, feel, and function in daily tasks. Working, studying, eating, sleeping, or enjoying life may be difficult. Furthermore, it might be stressful just to get through the day. Some feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic, while others with depression describe it as dwelling in a black hole or having a sense of impending doom. Mainly men may experience anger and restlessness. However, regardless of how people feel about the issue, it might lead to significant health issues if not treated. As a result, this article will discuss the worrying signs your loved ones might suffer from depression. Read on to learn the characteristics and what to do when a loved one suffers in silence.
What is depression?
Depression is a mental disorder characterized by a persistent feeling of melancholy and loss of interest. Major depressive disorder, commonly called clinical depression, affects a person’s feelings, thoughts, and behaviours and can result in many emotional and physical problems. Daily duties can be arduous for those who are depressed, and they may periodically question if life is worth living.
Moreover, depression is more than just feeling a bit down. You can’t just stop feeling that way. Long-term therapy may be necessary for depression. However, with the help of medicine, therapy, or even both, most depressed persons can improve their symptoms.
How to know if your loved ones might suffer from depression?
Although a person might experience depression only once in their lifetime, most individuals have several episodes. During these episodes, symptoms can include any of the following and may last for most of the day:
Changes in appetite
People suffering from depression often have changes in their appetite and weight. However, each person’s experience with this can be unique. Therefore, while some people will gain weight due to increased hunger, others will lose weight. As a result, see if the dietary changes are planned or unintentional. That can help determine whether they connect to depression. If they aren’t intentional, depression may be the cause.
Tiredness and sleep issues
One of the prevalent symptoms of depression is extreme exhaustion, which frequently accompanies a lack of energy. That could result in oversleeping.
Insomnia and depression can come together since one condition inflicts the other and the other way around. Furthermore, these symptoms might make each other worse. Not to mention that lack of sleep can also cause anxiety.
Addiction and depression have a tight connection between them and frequently coexist. One might even directly cause another. Substance abuse is more likely to occur when one suffers from depression, whereas depression is likely to occur if one suffers from a substance use problem. It’s a never-ending circle.
The happiness or pleasure of the things a person used to love might be diminished by depression. Another one of the signs your loved ones might suffer from depression is a lack of interest in or withdrawal from activities that they formerly looked forward to.
At the same time, sex is another topic in which a depressed person could lose interest. The loss of sexual desire and even impotence are signs of severe depression.
While depression doesn’t usually induce anxiety, the two diseases typically occur simultaneously. The most frequent anxiety symptoms are rapid breathing, panic, sweating, trembling, or tension. In addition, one might have trouble focusing or thinking straight. However, by engaging in a few simple activities, anxiety symptoms might be reduced.
Major depression impacts how a person might feel about their life. A feeling of hopelessness or helplessness is the most common indicator of depression. Other emotions include self-hatred, worthlessness, and guilt. “It’s all my fault” or “I’m a failure” are two common, recurrent thoughts of depression.
Other signs of depression
- Irrational or angry outbursts
- Unexplained headaches or back pain
- Memory issues
- Slower thinking or movement
- Lack of confidence
- Crying without an apparent reason
Depression and the risks of suicide
Unfortunately, depression is a significant risk factor for suicide. Suicide may seem to be the sole solution for escaping misery and hopelessness. Therefore, take any suicide language or behaviour seriously if you have a loved one who suffers from depression. Also, look for the telltale signs. For instance, a warning sign is if a loved one is talking about death, saying goodbye to people, settling their affairs, or having sudden changes in their mood. If they feel down and helpless and are suddenly happy, take it as a warning sign.
What can you do if your loved ones might suffer from depression?
Knowing what to do when you’re worried that a loved one may be depressed may be challenging. In far too many cases, people mistakenly believe that how they feel is normal or are humiliated that they may have a mental health issue. Therefore, talking to them about what you’ve observed and why it worries you is one of the essential things you can do. Reassure them that there are remedies for depression and that it is a medical issue.
At the same time, when providing support, do so with kindness, tolerance, and comprehension. Encourage your loved ones to continue being in your life since someone who is depressed may feel unwanted or unwelcome. To let them know you care about them, invite them for dinner, movie night, or go together on a trip. You can even suggest they speak with a doctor or therapist. In addition, assure them that with the right therapy and treatment, they can overcome their depression.
Depression is a severe mental disorder that alters how people perceive their life, loved ones, and the world. The good news is that it is curable, but spotting the signs your loved ones might suffer from depression is essential. Recognize the warning signs, help them start the healing process, and be there to listen and provide support.