Depression has many faces and many symptoms. Some bold and some subtle. If you or someone you know may be dealing with depression, it’s important to not only recognize the signs of it but also understand it. Listed below are a few common signs of depression and how to handle it as a loved one, and as a person experiencing it.
The Common Signs Persistent Sadness
Feeling sad at times and happy at others is just part of the ebb and flow of life. What should be alarming is when sadness starts becoming overwhelming and persistent. Overwhelming and persistent sadness is common in people with depression. After the overwhelming, persistent sadness takes over, a sense of hopelessness sets in, making it difficult to see the good in any situation. This hopelessness can make even the simplest of tasks seem like giant obstacles that can’t be overcome.
Loss of Interest
Depression can take the enjoyment out of everything that you once had an interest in. You no longer have the desire to participate in hobbies, sports, going out with friends, and even having sex. Even when you do participate in these activities, they don’t feel as pleasurable, fulfilling, and joy-filled as before.
Right after the loss of interest, isolation follows. The isolation can urge you to pull away, and shut down, resulting in feeling lonely and distressed. Isolation isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, taking a break to recuperate is what a person needs in order to be the best version of themselves. Isolation can increase productivity, allow us to recharge, and even assist us in learning more about ourselves. However, lacking social connections and constantly feeling lonely are signs of too much alone time.
Some people with depression have #unexplainable mood swings. The mood swings present themselves as irritability and the irritability becomes frustration and angry outbursts. Over the smallest matters, nothing seems to go right.
Depression can make it difficult for you to focus, remember, and even make decisions. People suffering from depression are sometimes less productive at work and school.
Many people experience suicidal thoughts when depressed. Suicidal tendencies can include increased use of alcohol, a noticeable increase or noticeable decrease in food intake, making comments about dying, doing risky behavior like using drugs or driving recklessly, randomly having a gun around, knives, or pills.
Depression can make the simplest tasks and activities take extra effort. People with depression may sleep too much or not sleep at all. Sometimes, even after a good night’s rest, they may still feel tired.
What Loved Ones Can Do
Depression is not something that people can easily “snap out of”. It does not take a day for depression to come about and it does not take a day for it to all go away. Many people describe the feeling of depression as being in a deep dark hole and many others don’t recognize or acknowledge their depression.
Family and friends that notice symptoms of depression should continuously invite the depressed loved one to participate in social activities (no matter how often they seem uninterested), remain patient as you help. Even if the depressed loved one constantly declines the invitations, family and friends should still call and visit. The topic of depression should not immediately be brought up, but over some time of listening and asking questions, the option of seeking professional help should be mentioned.
Help should always be carefully suggested and not aggressively forced, or else the depressed loved one could pull away even more. It’s important for family and friends to constantly assure their loved ones that regardless of what is said, they won’t be judged, that no matter what, they can be relied on, and that this feeling and situation will not last forever.
What People Suffering From Depression Can Do
With depression, the desire to do anything is difficult, but being active can combat depression. It’s important for people suffering from depression to attend social events, welcome calls, visits, and check-ups from loved ones. The more isolated a person is, the more depressed they could become.
- Set Personal Goals: Depression isn’t something that can immediately go away. specific goals. Daily goals and affirmations of a few things that you are grateful for, sorting out a stack of mail, talking a walk in the park, going to the gym, or watching a comedy can help you to forget you’re depressed
- Know it’s only temporary: Despite what thoughts and feelings you have, understand that everything your mind may be telling you isn’t completely accurate. You may feel hopeless and lonely, but that may not be the reality.
If you or someone you know may be experiencing depression, it may be time to consider a therapist. Therapy provides a safe, non-judgmental space where you can release. Therapy can also help identify the cause of one’s depression and offer ways to enjoy life again.
At CWC Coaching, our team consists of licensed therapists, life coaches, and counselors. We assist clients with self-improvement, career development, negative self-talk, psychological pain, self-sabotaging behavior, past hurts and finding your purpose. If you are ready to increase your self-awareness and happiness, breakthrough limiting behavior and understand your purpose in life, we’d love to help guide you on this journey.