Depression is a very real problem. But identifying whether a friend is suffering from depression or just being melancholic can be tricky. It is hard to tell the two apart especially if the depression is still in its early stages, and there are certain situations or circumstances in life that will trigger sadness.
But as health professionals say, depression is a type of illness, which is totally different from sadness, which is an emotion.
Real clinical depression differs from sadness in two major ways. First, the symptoms can be quite severe that it actually impedes with daily life. Secondly, these symptoms stay on for weeks.
Here are some of the warning signs that may signal that you or someone close to you is suffering from depression:
Crying episodes that happen frequently
People who suffer from depression will often experience crying fits. These episodes will come out of nowhere. It should be noted though that not all depressed people will experience crying episodes. Some won’t even develop this symptom. It has also been shown that crying episodes are more associated with women than with men.
Depression is commonly seen as being chronically sad. But one symptom of depression is increased restlessness and agitation. A patient will not want to relax and be calm. They’re a bundle of energy, quickly sitting down or standing up. They are also easily agitated and quick to anger.
Feelings of helplessness or hopelessness
A person who suffers from depression feels that everything in wrong or that somehow everything is his fault. He is extremely pessimistic and cannot seen anything positive about his situation. He also feels that no other options are left to him.
Loss of energy
One of the symptoms discussed above is agitation and restlessness. But for people who do not experience this type of symptom, the opposite is usually what they feel. They’ll feel sluggish and complain of not having no energy at all to do chores, even something basic as eat or go to work.
Loss of interest in hobbies
Probably the most obvious sign of depression is the loss of interest in things that the person usually finds enjoyable. The depressed person will stop doing his favorite hobbies, even lose interest in the lives of loved ones like children and grandchildren. The patient will often refuse to go out, decline any kind of invitation to social events and even refuse to see friends and family.
These are just some of the warning signs that may signal depression. By being alert you can act on it immediately and seek help for yourself or for your loved ones.