HOW TO TELL IF SOMEONE IS DEPRESSED

Depression is a weakening mood disorder that changes how someone feels,functions and thinks.It is more than just sadness in response to setbacks and life struggles.

Some view depression as possessing a feel of impending doom while others view it as a feeling of emptyness and hopelessness.

HOW TO TELL IF SOMEONE IS DEPRESSED

Depression varies from one person to another but has common signs and symptoms.

Important Caveat:The signs and symptoms can be part of normal lows of life.

However,stronger symptoms that have lasted for a very long time can be a tell-tale that someone is dealing with depression.

1. Feelings of hopelessness/ helplessness

It’s a feeling that nothing will get better(The situation will not improve at all).This feeling shows a negative view of the future.

2.Loss of interest

If someone has lost interest e.g in the daily activities,he/she may be depressed.This is because they have lost joy in what makes them happy such as hobbies and social activities they participate in.

3.Appetite and weight changes

Depression causes significant changes in weight and appetite-for example 10% change in body weight in less than a month is a strong sign.

4.Sleep changes

Examples of sleep changes include: waking up very early in the morning, oversleeping or having trouble sleeping.

Depressed people do not have regular sleeping patterns because the body is stressed out.Sleep change is a major tell-tale that someone could be depressed.

5.Concetration problems

Depression can make someone to have trouble focusing on something, making decisive decisions etc.

The brain is tasked with various responsibilities at the same time; making proper coodination difficult.

6.Anger

Feeling agitated frequently,having short temper and a low level of tolerance can be due to depression.

7.Loss of energy

A depressed person feels physically drained,fatigued and sluggish.Moreover, they take longer time to complete small tasks.

8.Self-loathing

A depressed person usually has very strong feelings for worthlessness.Depressed people criticize themselves for perceived mistakes.

9.Reckless behaviour

They engage in escapist behaviour such as drug abuse,reckless driving, missing commitments compulsive gambling etc.

10.Unexplained pains

Physical complaints e.g. back pains, headaches, can be as a result of depression.

CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

Depression is caused by social, biological and physiological factors; not just as a result of chemical imbalance that can be cured by medication.This makes depression more complicated compared to some illnesses that are easier to treat.

Risk factors that can make someone vulnerable include:

  1. Lacking social support – There’s no one to support you when you are feeling low.
  2. Loneliness – isolating yourself from others especially during difficult times.
  3. Marital/ relationship issues – cheating, violence etc.
  4. Childhood trauma – such as sexual or physical abuse.
  5. Financial strain– as a result of inadequate capital to fulfill financial obligations.
  6. Problems such as low self-esteem – not accepting yourself.

The cause of depression will help determine the best treatment for that particular problem.

It is therefore important for someone to identify what is making them depressed.

For example: Perhaps the best treatment for dead-end job would be to find a more satisfying job rather than taking antidepressants.

COPING WITH DEPRESSION

1.Reaching out to others

A person who is depressed should reach out to friends and loved ones even if they feel like staying alone.

Why?

Staying isolated fuels depression.

The simple act of sharing how you feel with others can be of enormous help.

2. Get moving

Regular exercise can be a daunting task for a depressed person.

However,exercising can be of great help in countering depression.( Can be as effective as antidepressants,if not better).

You should start by performing small activities and build up from there.

3. Finding ways to engage with the rest of the population.

For example, picking up something you used to enjoy, engaging in social activities,taking care of your pet etc.

Important Caveat: This may not make a depressed person feel like it at first but it will make them feel better again.What’s important is that they are making progress in the right direction.

4. Taking foods that will boost the mood.

A depressed person should reduce intake of foods that have adverse effects on the mood such as refined carbs, caffeine and alcohol.They should opt for mood-enhancing nutrients such as Omega 3 acids.

Problems caused by depression become worse when people are not diagonised, let alone treatment.The good news is that depression can be easily treated if it’s identified early before it becomes severe.