The signs of depression are not always easy to spot right away. Far too often, they are missed completely or - more commonly - mistaken for something else altogether. However, it is important to notice and bring attention to signs of depression in your loved ones as soon as possible so that they can get the help and support they need.
If you are noticing a difference in behavior in your loved one, then keep reading to learn about a few signs you can look out for that indicate they could be dealing with depression.
1. They Have Lost Interest In The Things They Used To Enjoy
Has your loved one stopped taking part in the hobbies they used to love? Is it difficult for them to pay attention to things that used to entertain them for hours on end?
If you answered yes, then this could be a sign that your loved one is dealing with depression. One of the most common symptoms of depression is a loss of interest in things, even things that were once enjoyable and rewarding.
Depressed loved ones will often stop doing the things that once occupied their time and then become more withdrawn. Readers stop picking up books, fitness lovers stop working out, artists stop painting, etc.
If you have tried and failed to get your loved one involved in their usual hobbies, or if they seem disinterested when they actually do participate, then it may be time to ask them how they are feeling and start considering the possibility that they are dealing with feelings of depression.
2. Their Sleep Schedule Has Changed
While a change in sleeping habits isn't always an immediate cause for concern, there are situations in which this simple change could be an indication for depression.
The first thing to watch out for is the amount of time your loved one sleeps during the day. While an occasional short nap is perfectly normal, you should become concerned if you find that your loved one is sleeping for hours on end during the day instead of going out, meeting responsibilities, taking care of themselves, being active, and more.
People with depression will often sleep through a day because they feel fatigued and bogged down by their negative thoughts and lack of energy.
You may also notice that a loved one with depression will stay up well into the night. Depressive thoughts can often cause insomnia. Either way, keep a look out for any major changes in sleeping patterns if you are worried that someone close to you may be feeling depressed.
3. Lack of Hygiene
Depression causes both a severe lack of interest and care as well as a severe drop in energy levels. Both of these factors can cause someone with depression to stop putting energy and attention towards personal hygiene or cleanliness.
You may notice that your loved one is taking care of themselves less often. It may feel like a chore for them to get showered and dressed every day. Additionaly, you may begin to see that they don't often have the energy to keep their living environment clean or tidy.
While these things can be embarrassing to talk about with others, they are a major sign of depression and should be respectfully and kindly adressed if you notice them. Your loved one may be feeling completely checked out of their self care, cleaning, grooming, and other habits and need support and love to discover why exactly that is and how to fix it.
4. Changes in Mood or Behavior
If someone close to you simply not acting like themself anymore? If so, then depression may be the cause of this shift in mood or behavior.
Depression can cause overwhelming sadness, irritability, anger, withdrawal, and more. You may notice that your kind, soft-spoken, patient loved one is now snapping back at everything anyone has to say. You may notice your bright, positive, and bubbly loved one being more reserved, quiet, and negative.
This change in mood or bahavior is likely just as confusing and difficult for your loved one to understand as it is for you. The best thing you can do in this situation is to not take it personally. Instead, be there for your loved one as they navigate this shift to the best of their abilities.
This sign of depression can very easily be mistaken for something else, so keep that in mind. Many people will feel like their loved in is simply not interested in them anymore instead of really trying to figure out what is laying beneath the surface. This could be a sign of depression that you've been overlooking for a while, so take it into consideration.
5. Negative Thoughts or Self-Talk
Depression can bring about overwhelmingly negagtive thoughts and feelings about oneself or life in general. If you notice that your loved one is being more pessimistic about life lately or if they are constantly saying hurtful things aout themselves, there may be cause for concern.
A lack of confidence in self or in others is not uncommon in people with depression, so pay careful attention to the ways in which your loved one has been talking about themselves lately. If their outlook on life or their confidence has drastically changed, then depression may be playing a part in their new mindset. It could be time to reach out in support.
6. Suicidal Thoughts or Ideas
The most dangerous sign to look out for if you suspect a loved one is dealing with depression is suicidal thoughts. Sometimes, a depressed loved one will begin saying things in a way that seem like a joke when really they are a cry for help.
If someone close to you has begun talking about not wanting to be around anymore or how life would be easier for others if they were gone, it is time to speak with them immediately and seek treatment and support as soon as possible.