Most people feel sad and lonely sometimes. These feelings are a normal reaction to disagreements, loss, or other life struggles. But when these emotions become overwhelming and last for long periods, they can affect the way you function and live your life. When depression is the problem, seeking medical help or joining a mental health treatment program can be life-saving.
Feeling unhappy isn’t the same as having depression. While people often use the latter term to describe how negative emotions springing from bad experiences, depression as a mental disorder is so much more complicated.
5 Signs of Depression in Your Loved Ones
1. Losing Motivation and Interest
Depression can affect the way you feel about life in general. If the person you care about demonstrates helplessness or a hopeless outlook, the chances are high that they’re depressed. If they ask, “What’s the point?” or often say, “It’s all my fault,” they’re vocalizing feelings of guilt, self-hate, and worthlessness—all emotions that are connected to feeling depressed.
When a person is depressed, they don’t get pleasure out of the things they love doing. If someone you love has lost interest in hobbies and activities they used to look forward to—like sports, crafts, or meeting up with their friends—they may be depressed. Another area worth looking at is their sex drive. One symptom of major depression is a decreased sex drive or even impotence.
They may also turn to substance use at this time to deal with their negative feelings. This can lead to multiple conditions progressing at the same time—the person you love will need to go through a depression treatment program to make a full recovery.
2. Feeling Increased Fatigue and Suffering From Sleep Problems
Sometimes, a loved one might explain their lack of interest or motivation by saying that they’re very tired. Increased fatigue, especially due to sleep problems, is also a debilitating symptom of major depression.
Sleep problems and depression are a common pair of co-morbidities. One can lead to or be a symptom of the other, and vice versa.
Experiencing both at the same time can also make both of them worse. Tiredness can lead to excessive napping, which can cause insomnia or other sleep problems, which can then aggravate tiredness. The lack of restful sleep at night can also lead to anxiety and the need for an anxiety treatment program.
3. Going Through Anxiety
Depression hasn’t been shown to cause anxiety, but the two conditions often occur together. You may not see any physical symptoms of depression in your loved one, but they may show symptoms of anxiety, such as:
- Heavy or increased sweating
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- Restlessness and nervousness
- Trembling and twitching muscles
Anxious people also feel dread and panic and have trouble focusing on anything other than what they’re worried about. Mood swings can also be normal for people with depression and anxiety.
4. Experiencing Unwanted Changes in Weight and Appetite
Changes in weight and appetite can be caused by other things, so a key indicator here is if the changes are intentional or not. People with depression can have an increased appetite and start gaining weight or have a decreased appetite and start losing weight. These changes can also start affecting other parts of their lives as well as other depression symptoms. For example, a decreased appetite and the loss of weight can contribute to increased fatigue and lost interest in doing previously enjoyed activities.
5. Having a Fascination With Death
Major depression can sometimes connect with suicide. People who die by suicide usually show symptoms first—usually, they will show a fascination with death and self-harm.
If you’re worried that your loved one is presenting this symptom and you think they are considering suicide, get help from a suicide or crisis prevention hotline like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
Learn About Mental Health Treatment Programs Offered by Ethan Crossing of Columbus
If someone you love is struggling with depression or other emotional or mental issues with a substance use disorder, Ethan Crossing of Columbus can help with mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment. Contact us online or call 855.476.0078 to find out more about our mental health treatment programs, such as our depression treatment program, anxiety treatment program, and dual diagnosis treatments.