Signs of depression and what to look for.
Although it’s been over four months since his passing,
Robin Williams’ suicide has had a profound effect on our society and has brought the topic of depression to the front lines. This is because of several obvious factors. The first being that Williams was a celebrity who was so successful at making people laugh and bringing joy to so many lives and the second is that most people never saw something like this happening. I’m sure, and this is merely speculation, that most of the people in his inner circle probably didn’t see it coming either.
People who suffer from depression can sometimes hide their depression with such masterly skill that not even their families or coworkers can tell until they reach their boiling point. Which leads me to the reason for this post, how to tell if you or someone you know might be suffering from depression. Here’s a list of signs and symptoms to look out for from helpguide.org
- Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
- Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
- Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
- Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
- Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
- Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
- Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
- Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
- Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
- Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
Depression can cause many different symptoms and signs that can be difficult to see. If you or someone you know is showing any of these signs please don’t be afraid to discuss them, or call someone for professional help. With some care and understanding, and some counseling, there’s always a way out of what can sometimes seem like an unsolvable problem.
Remember, suicide is a permanent solution to what can sometimes be a temporary problem.
If you think you or a loved one is suffering from depression, please call us or email us to set up a free 15 minute phone consultation so we can discuss your symptoms and see how we can help you heal.