What are the warning signs of depression?
It can be hard to spot if a friend or family member is dealing with depression.This is because people can still seem happy and social, even though they might be struggling to cope.
If you or someone else is experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it does not always mean you have depression. Low mood can be a sign of depression, but you can also experience low mood if there are difficult or upsetting things happening in your life. It is normal to feel sad or low when you experience distressing things. But if you keep feeling sad or low for longer than a month, this could be because you have depression.
Even though depression affects everyone differently, there are common warning signs you might notice. Depression can make people feel differently to how they usually do, including how they might think or feel about themselves.. They might make it harder for you to seek help. Remember, depression is a serious medical condition, and it is important that you seek professional help.
Depression can make you feel empty, or it might make you more emotional or irritable than you are normally. You might feel more than one of these things at the same time, which can be confusing. It is sometimes difficult to work out if you are experiencing depression because of all the different ways it can make you feel. Commonly, people with depression can feel:
- tired with less energy than normal - this is known as fatigue
- helpless, hopeless and empty
- angry and irritable, with less patience than normal
- guilty or worthless
- anxious and worried
- De-motivated and tired all the time
If you have depression you might find your behaviour changes. Commonly, this can include:
- seeing friends and family less often, or at all
- changes to appetite
- changes to sleep pattern
- Changes to concentration
- smoking, drinking, or using drugs more often than usual