If you suspect someone you know and love is struggling with depression, it can be hard to know what to do. Are they just sad as a normal reaction to circumstances? Or are they truly going through a difficult season in their life?
Almost 10% of Americans deal with depression each year. As awareness of mental health issues grows, we must be alert to signs of struggles in our loved ones.
Here at Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, our expert team can help if you or your loved one has depression. Here are eight signs we commonly notice among people who are depressed:
Continuing low mood
One of the most common signs of depression is a low mood that just won’t go away. It’s not just sadness — it’s deeper than that, with feelings of hopelessness and emptiness. These feelings may seem to consume your loved one.
Tiredness and lack of energy
People who are depressed often experience high levels of fatigue no matter how much sleep they get. They feel tired and drained, with no motivation to do anything. They can’t muster the energy even to try.
Anger and irritability
Ordinary obstacles and difficulties can trigger irritation and angry outbursts in people with depression. They may feel like everything and everyone are against them.
Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
Whether your loved one likes to play video games, sports, or an instrument, they may lose interest in once-favorite activities if they’re depressed. Because they lack energy, they stop engaging in hobbies that require much effort.
Changes in eating habits
People with depression often change their dietary habits, eating too little or too much. Look for sudden and significant changes in how they eat as a sign of depression.
Feelings of worthlessness
Depression often brings irrational feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and shame. Your loved one may become convinced that no one cares about them and that family members are lying to them. Continue to reassure them that those feelings aren’t true.
If your loved one does indeed have depression, they may find it challenging to concentrate or focus on even small, easy tasks. Feelings of hopelessness can lead to trouble at home, school, and work.
Of course, a glaring sign of depression is having suicidal thoughts. Suicidal ideation moves beyond just general thoughts to creating a plan and attempting suicide. If your loved one is struggling in this area, get help right away.
If these signs and symptoms fit your loved one, our compassionate team at Arlington Family Practice stands ready to help. Just call our office or use the online scheduler to request an appointment or learn more about treatment for depression.