Depression impacts so many people and so many lives. It can be a debilitating illness where the person who has depression may not even be aware of the reasons they feel the way they do.
It often takes someone close to that person to see the signs and reach out to offer the support and help they need. When it comes to helping a loved one with depression the most important stage of that support is spotting the signs and symptoms that suggest they need help.
Let’s take a look at some of the classic signs of depression. If you see these in a loved one it could be time to reach out and try to give them the emotional support and guidance needed to get better.
The age of your loved one is often a critical factor in terms of identifying symptoms and signs of depression. Here is a breakdown of what to look for in each age category.
Spotting the signs of depression in a child
Children can be a challenge when it comes to spotting the signs of depression. They are evolving emotionally as well as physically all the time. That means they are undergoing changes that might have an impact on their mental health.
If you notice your child is showing signs of emotional or behavioral changes that can’t easily be explained it could be that your loved one is suffering from depression.
If they lose interest in activities they usually love or start skipping school regularly these could be early warning signs they are struggling. Other signs to look out for include difficulty focusing and concentrating, and sleeping more than usual.
Women can be more prone to depression
Females are far more susceptible to depression than males. They undergo biological and hormonal changes at various stages in life that create a vulnerability to depression.
A typical example would be postpartum depression. The hormonal changes after having a baby can create feelings of sadness, sleeping problems, and weight gain.
There is a fundamental difference between depression created by hormonal changes that occur at various key points in life and depression caused by life pressures and stressful events that trigger an episode.
If a loved one is sad, complaining of unexplained weight gain, or experiencing sleep problems, these could be signs that they are suffering from depression.
Hard to spot depression in men
Many men tend to be reluctant to display any outward emotions or feelings. If you notice a loved one is becoming angrier or more aggressive than you expect, these are often signs of depression but are so easily confused or missed.
Physical signs include regular headaches and digestive issues.
What are the five general signs of depression to look out for?
Although different genders and age groups respond differently to depression there are some common traits to look out for in a loved one.
Health problems – Depression impacts physical health too. If a loved one is suffering unexplained physical ailments you should keep an eye on them to see if they need support.
Lack of Sleep- Is your loved one suffering an unexplained lack of sleep?
Difficulties with concentrating – Sudden problems with focus or concentration can be a sign of depression.
Loss of appetite- Has a loved one stopped eating properly or changed their eating habits?
Too much sleep- Another classic sign of depression to look out for is when a loved one is sleeping for longer than usual.
A change in mood- An increased level of anger and irritability can be a warning sign that a loved one is depressed.
There is always help available to help a loved one return to their normal self and tackle depression. If you see signs they might be struggling you can help them to get the support they need to put their mental and physical health back on track.