Depression Signs and Symptoms in the Family: What to Watch Out

depressed man on a table

Depression is a frequently used term to describe how people may feel after a bad week at work or when going through a rough breakup, but it’s more than that. Keep in mind that being merely unhappy isn’t the same as being genuinely depressed, as the latter can lead to several severe medical conditions—and even death.

Fortunately, depression is treatable. The key here is to recognize and address symptoms among your family members or loved ones fast. If you’re observing mood swings, sudden outbursts in children and teens, or signs of postpartum depression, visit a local treatment center right away.

Being proactive and keeping track of these signs can be the first step toward long-term healing and recovery.
If you think you or a loved one may have depression, here are some of the common signs and symptoms of depression.

Fatigue

Being excessively tired is a typical indication of depression, with studies suggesting that more than 90% of individuals suffering from depression experience fatigue. Although people may feel tired from time to time, individuals experiencing excessive and persistent tiredness alongside other symptoms may have depression.

Excess Alcohol or Drug Usage

Some individuals with depression may turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with their emotions. Studies have shown that many people suffering from a mood disorder may have alcohol or substance use disorder. So, if you notice a loved one relying on alcohol lately or have been taking excessive drugs, they may have depression.

Pessimistic Outlook

Experts have suggested that depressed individuals may display a trait referred to as ‘depressive realism,’ meaning that they are typically more accurate in their view of particular events and their control over them than people without depression. Individuals with the condition may also be more naturally pessimistic than those without depression, displaying an overall negative outlook of the future.

In essence, showing realistic thoughts and having a more pessimistic outlook than others is a sign of depression you should watch out for.

woman resting her head on her hand looking depressed

Sudden Appetite and Weight Changes

Overeating and undereating can suggest a person may have depression. These changes in food consumption can cause an individual to start gaining and losing weight, further exacerbating depression as it affects their self-esteem.

Change in Sleeping Habits

There’s a strong link between sleep and mood, meaning lacking sleep can contribute to depression, giving you insomniac tendencies. Studies have proven that chronic sleep deprivation may lead to severe depression due to the sudden changes in the brain’s neurochemical production. Excessive sleeping may also signify that a person may have depression, so make sure to pay attention to you and your loved one’s sleeping habits.

Loss of Concentration

When you notice a person trailing off during conversations or loses their train of thought often, this may indicate they have a problem with their memory and concentration, which is a common symptom of depression. Concentration loss can worsen the social impact of the condition, damaging work and personal relationships.

Disinterest in Favorite Hobbies

The loss of interest or pleasure in favorite hobbies is one of the leading indicators of a depressed individual. Disinterest in fun activities that a person used to enjoy is a telltale sign of depression, which can happen abruptly or gradually.

Physical Discomfort and Other Health Disorders

Although depression is a mental health condition, it might also lead to physical consequences. For instance, in addition to sudden weight changes and general fatigue, you may also experience physical symptoms like back pain, chronic pain, digestive issues, and headaches.

Easily Irritable

Although not many people associate anger and irritability with depression, these sudden episodes and mood changes aren’t unusual among those with the condition. For instance, instead of looking like they’re sad as most stereotypes go by, some people with depression may display aggression.

Decreased Libido

According to experts, a sudden change in sex drive or craving for intimacy can be a significant indicator for diagnosing episodes of severe depression. These changes include a loss of interest in pleasurable activities like sex, low energy levels, and low self-esteem.

Although the typical signs and symptoms of depression like sadness and suicidal intent or tendencies are easily recognizable, there are less obvious ones — and the ones mentioned are some of them. Knowing these can help you act fast and save a life, encouraging a healthier and genuinely happier future.

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