My Valley News discusses eight warning signs to help identify depression, one of the most common mental health conditions.
If you notice the following consistent signs and behaviors in a loved one, he or she may be developing or have depression.
- Feeling hopeless and helpless: People with depression often feel down and cannot find a way to positively spin a situation. Usually, they believe there is nothing they can do to change something.
- Loss of interest in friends and favorite activities: Another warning sign of depression is intense disinterest. If your loved one is no longer enjoying the activities or social interaction they used to, they may be depressed.
- The person is tired all the time and has aches and pains: Depression manifests in physical symptoms as well. Often, depressed people experience chronic exhaustion and do not have the energy to complete even the smallest tasks. They also usually have aching muscles or other pains.
- Changes in sleep and appetite: Whether it’s too much or not enough, sleep is another warning sign of depression. Someone with depression also usually experiences a noticeable fluctuation in weight, either gaining or losing more than five percent of their usual body mass.
- Trouble concentrating and difficulty with easy tasks: Lack of focus, motivation, and memory is also often associated with depression.
- Negative thoughts persist: A negative pattern of thinking is common with depression. Often, this negative thinking is self-deprecating and involves feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and regret.
- More irritable and aggressive: A depressed person may exhibit signs of agitation, restlessness, and violence.
- Drinking more alcohol and engaging in reckless behavior: Substance abuse is common with depression as it is used as an escape. Other reckless behavior includes dangerous driving, sports, and compulsive gambling.
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental health disorder, please seek professional help and remember that treatment is possible and support is here.