Mental Health: How To Spot Depression In Loved Ones

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In the recent past, more cases of suicide are being reported. Most of the times the people around them are shocked because they did not suspect anything was wrong. On a positive note, more people are speaking up about their struggles with depression. This is a good thing because they can get professional help as well as support from their family and loved ones. For others though it is still difficult to open up about their depression and this makes it the responsibility of others to spot it.

Here are signs that your loved ones are suffering from depression.

  1. Loss of interest in many things

This is a big sign that your loved one is depressed. If your loved one suddenly loses interest in activities that they love, this should raise an alarm. Activities like sports, painting, writing or work are examples of things that people love. However while struggling with depression a person no longer finds pleasure in engaging in such activities. If this happens to a loved one keep an extra eye on them.

  1. Changes in eating patterns

People suffering from depression change their feeding habits. Some eat more while others eat less. In turn, this can also affect a person’s weight. If you notice your partner or friend has a fluctuation in their weight, investigate further if they are going through a hard time.

  1. Reckless behaviour

A classic tell-tale of depression is a drastic change in behaviour. Depressed people often turn to alcohol and other drugs, gambling, irresponsible sex, dangerous sports as well as reckless driving to escape from their troubles. If you notice that your loved one suddenly engages in such activities, reach out to them. In some people it might be difficult to notice such changes because they already engage in them normally but if the interest in such leisure activities increases, there could be a bigger problem.

  1. Uncontrollable emotions

Depression causes people to have intense emotions. Some people get easily agitated, violent, they could cry uncontrollably. They have mood swings. If you notice a loved one with such erratic emotional behaviour, be keener with them.

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  1. Changes in sleeping patterns

This is another tell-tale of depression. If a person changes their sleeping patterns either by sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping then they could be depressed. Changes in sleeping patterns that are not a result of medication or physical fatigue are a way to spot depression in others.

  1. Lack of interest in sex

If your partner loses interest in sex (and has some of the other signs) then you should consider depression as a reason. You probably already know some of the things that are troubling them but you do not know the degree of the impact. This change in sexual interest should tell you that your loved one is not doing well and requires help.

  1. Death and suicidal thoughts

Depressed people talk about death and suicide a lot. They could include the topic in conversations or straight-up talk about their own deaths. Some even attempt suicide and fail. If you notice any of these things then you should take it as a cry for help. You should also be take away items that they could use to cause harm to themselves or others such as guns, pills, knives and ropes.

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  1. Increased anxiety

Some experts claim that depression and anxiety often occur at the same time. You could notice that your loved one is more anxious than normal. Symptoms of anxiety include restlessness, panic, heavy sweating and concentration issues.

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  1. Physical illness

Sometimes depression manifests in actual physical illnesses. A depressed person could out of the blues get sickly. They could feel tired all the time, have aching muscles and joints as well as generally feeling sick. If finding the cause of the illness is difficult, depression could be the reason. Look out for this in loved ones if you suspect depression.

Check out Mental Health: 7 Ways You Can Help A Friend Going Through Depression

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