Depression is clinically understood as an illness, but quite often the warning signs given when someone is becoming depressed are misread, and sometimes they go completely unnoticed. When the symptoms are regarded in isolation it is all too easy to dismiss them as indicators that someone is just ‘being sad’ about a particular event.
If you are aware of all of the symptoms of the illness, and see a number of them combined, then this may be a clear indication that someone is suffering from depression, and medical help should be sought.
As with all medical conditions they key to treating this illness is early diagnosis. The longer that a person lives with depression the more likely they are to suffer from it’s more serious negative effects.
What are the signs?
Lack of Interest
When someone shows a complete lack of interest in activities that they used to enjoy this may indicate that they are suffering from depression. This might include anything from not attending social events, dropping out of clubs, stopping sporting activities, or cutting themselves off from friendship groups. This symptom of depression can effectively cause the condition to worsen as it may damage relationships, which can further the sense of sadness in the sufferer.
Change of Eating Habits
Another major warning sign of depression is when someone completely changes their approach to diet. This is not an indicator taken on its own, as there are many reasons for a change in eating habits. However, if combined with other symptoms, like a complete apathy towards making food this can be seen as a symptom of depression. The changes in physical appearance caused by a dietary change such as a large weight gain or loss, can sometimes cause the depression to become worse.
Problems With Sleep
When someone is suffering with depression they may have problems with sleep. An inability to sleep and/or constant fatigue, which can be the result of sleepless nights, is a clear sign of depression. This problem may manifest itself through sporadic waking up in the night, or with full-blown insomnia. The lack of sleep can also cause the depression to worsen as it reduces the sufferer’s ability to cope with the other symptoms.
Depression can have a physical manifestation and a sudden increase and frequency in headaches, stomach aches, or physical symptoms can be another sign of depression. Where there are physical pains it is essential to check these through first, with traditional medical treatments, but they may also indicate that the person is suffering from depression.
Probably the most serious sign of depression is when the sufferer considers harming themselves. Unlike any of the other symptoms, which can be indicators of a range of other conditions, this sign almost singular to depression, and can have the most serious of consequences.