Depression is something that can affect anyone in any walk of life. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 6% of the adult population have been affected by depression at some time. Usually, when someone you love or care about is depressed, it can be a little difficult to recognize in the early stages. But the sooner you or they can pick up on the fact that they are depressed, the sooner you can help them start to address it.
It’s not always easy to detect when a person is feeling low, especially as many people will try to mask their depression and ‘put on a calm face’. But sometimes, you somehow get this distinct feeling that something is wrong or abnormal with the person, although it’s difficult to pinpoint why. This is often known as clairsentience, a type of empathy where it’s possible to feel another person’s emotions without needing to discuss them. If you’re getting the sense that a friend or loved one is depressed, start looking out for some common symptoms that are often associated with depression which might help confirm the doubts you have.
Depression Symptoms & Warning Signs
1. Things aren’t fun anymore
One common symptom of depression is that things that used to be fun no longer interest a person. It may not be a complete loss of pleasure, but your friend or family member might choose only to do those things that require little effort in order to create enjoyment – for example, watching TV or playing video games constantly. If you notice this happening, question why they are spending more time doing these things and encourage them to do other activities that involve spending time with others instead of being by themselves.
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2. Problems sleeping
There can be all the reasons for insomnia, but depression is often linked as both a cause and symptom of insomnia. If your partner is frequently finding it hard to get to sleep, or having broken nights, it may be because they are depressed. Insomnia can be a vicious cycle to get out of, as people who have broken sleep during the night often nap during the day, and then find it difficult to get a full night’s sleep the next evening.
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3. Eating differently
Excessive weight gain or loss can be connected to feeling depressed. Partners often misinterpret their spouse’s weight changes for something other than depression – such as they no longer care about sharing an intimate life and therefore stopped looking after their physique. It’s important to look beyond your own feelings and try and understand what’s behind this change in eating habits for your partner.
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Someone who is depressed finds coping with daily life difficult. Any ordinary problems and challenges can lead to frustration and anger that would be unjustified in normal circumstances and result in the depressed person frequently snapping or losing their temper with those around them.
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5. Being negative
Another symptom of depression is to take a half-glass empty approach to the ideas and conversations of others. This can include being unenthusiastic about suggestions for activities such as a day out or a holiday, and phrases such as ‘what’s the point?’ and ‘why bother?’ may begin to pepper their own conversation.
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6. Lack of self-confidence
When someone who has always been fairly confident about their place in the world and the future starts to turn in on themselves and be negative about what they have achieved in life, it can be a sign that they are suffering from depression.
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7. Dark thoughts
A depressed person may start to utter suicidal thoughts and ideas, such as that they don’t care whether they live or die, or even suggest taking action to harm themselves, such as how they’d end their lives if they could. If someone shares a suicidal thought with you, it’s time to take urgent action and do all that you can to get them the medical and psychological assistance they need.
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If you suspect that someone close to you is depressed, then do what you can to encourage them to seek treatment. This isn’t just about their well-being, it’s also for your own peace of mind that you are doing what you can to help them deal with depression and, hopefully, to recover from it. After all, the happiness of your loved ones is what that helps you keep happy too.