Depression: Warning Signs and Providing Support
The motions of life bring everyone good and bad days, and there are times where we all feel down or unhappy. Feeling sad is an emotion that everyone feels from time to time, but when someone struggles with sadness that will not go away, they may have depression.
We would like to make sure that every person can pick up on the signs of depression and anxiety and are able to give their loved ones the help and support they deserve.
Below are feelings, thoughts and physical symptoms your loved one might have if they are facing depression.
Affecting roughly 19 million American across the country, depression is one of the most common disorders that gets both diagnosed and bypassed. Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. It affects how someone feels, thinks and behaves and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
Symptoms of Depression
Feelings and Thoughts
– Intense and unusual feelings such as guilt, hopelessness, and feeling worthless
– Feeling like you’re constantly doing something wrong and/or nothing can or will get better
– Suicidal thoughts
– Increased agitation and anger
– Sudden urge to engage in dangerous activities such as, drug use, excessive drinking, and gambling.
– Significant weight loss, weight gain, and/or changes in your appetite
– Frequently feeling fatigued
– Decreased sex drive and the loss of excitement in doing things that you once enjoyed
– Sleeping too little or too much
– Sudden aches and pains.
Understand and Listen
Make sure your loved ones understands that you are always willing to listen to them and that they can lean on you. They may not always be willing to talk, but when they are you want them to know they can count on you. The ability to listen and sympathize with them can be a powerful healing tool.
Learn about Suicide Risk
Those who suffer from depression are at an elevated risk of suicide. It may be good to prepare yourself for the possibility that your loved one may feel suicidal at times. Signs of suicidal behavior should be taken seriously and acted upon immediately. Learn more about suicidal risk and protective factors.
Create Low Stress Environments
Having a daily routine can help someone dealing with depression feel more in control of their life. A good practice would be to sit down with them and create schedules for meals, medications, sleep, and physical activity.
Often times, loved ones won’t recognize or acknowledge that they’re dealing with depression. They may feel ashamed about themselves or believe they can overcome and conquer this disorder by themselves. With the proper treatment and approach, your loved one CAN get better. Talk with them about your concerns and explain that depression is just a medical condition, NOT a weakness or flaw.
Depression affects millions of people every day, no matter what age. Help your loved one cope with depression and similar disorders by looking for local support groups or counseling and by contacting a mental health provider or health care professional.
If you are caring for a family member or friend that is experiencing these symptoms or you are worried about their well-being, reach out to Cariloop. Our Care Coaches will walk hand-in-hand with you as your care for your loved one struggling with depression, anxiety, etc. Learn more about our individual memberships and get the support you need!
By Chelsea Alles, LBSW, CCM
If you are caring for a loved one and need some assistance and guidance, a Cariloop Care Coach would love to support your family through your caregiving journey. Become a member or call 1-844-790-5667 to get started.
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