Depression is a mood disorder that affects almost 300 million people around the world. Despite its prevalence and an increase in public awareness surrounding it, depression is an extremely serious medical condition. Fortunately, it can often be treated with therapy, medication, and a strong social support network, among other solutions. To help you recognize when a loved one is experiencing depression and when therapy may be helpful, below are a few common signs of the illness.
A Guide to Depression Symptoms
1. Sense of Hopelessness
One of the hallmarks of depression is a sense of hopelessness, or a constant and oppressive feeling of sadness and despair. A depressed individual will have a bleak outlook on life and may express thoughts of self-blame, pessimism, or helplessness. However, these symptoms can be subtler, too. Some people take on an emotional "flatness," experiencing a disconnect from the joys and rhythms of life.
2. Lack of Interest in Activities & Hobbies
Depression often causes people to pull away from the activities and interests they once enjoyed. They will also find it more difficult to tackle regular responsibilities, like going to work or school. It's not uncommon for a depressed individual to neglect some or all of the basic tasks of daily life, such as grooming, bathing, eating regularly, and doing housework.
3. Physical Changes
It's often overlooked that depression is a physical illness as well as an emotional one. It can manifest in the body in different ways. Depressed people may sleep substantially more or less than normal, leading to fatigue and lethargy. They may undergo appetite and weight changes, with some folks eating noticeably less and others eating substantially more. Other physiological signs include digestive problems, headaches, and chronic pain.
If you notice any of these signs in a loved one, encourage them to get professional help. At Families, Inc. Counseling Services, we provide mental health services from our 11 locations throughout Arkansas. We offer a variety of therapy options, including individual, family, and group therapy, in a comfortable, safe, and affirming outpatient environment. We also provide services in clients' homes and schools. Call (877) 595-8869 or visit our website to schedule an appointment for therapy today.