4 Signs that Someone You Know is Depressed
With winter here and the holidays nearly upon us, right now is an important time to talk about signs of depression. I mention winter because Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects a lot of people and yet we rarely talk about it. SAD is a type of depression that only appears during certain seasons, most commonly winter. It’s suspected that SAD is partially caused by a lack of sunlight since the days become shorter in the fall and the sky is often overcast. SAD may also have a genetic component, as people affected by the disorder are more likely to be related to someone else who is affected. It’s important to be able to recognize symptoms of Depression and SAD so that we may offer help to those who need it most.
Sleeping All the Time
Staying in bed all day and sleeping is often associated with laziness, which is incredibly unfortunate. People who are depressed often struggle with motivation; they think, why should I get out of bed? There’s nothing for me. When we get mad at our loved ones because of perceived laziness we only make the situation worse. They may feel more ashamed, and they may find their motivation diminishing even further. Often times, when someone with depression sleeps all the time, it’s because their depression wants them to avoid the real world.
Staying Up Late
While some people struggle with sleeping too much, others struggle to fall or stay asleep. Lack of sleep only serves to intensify the other symptoms of depression. Being tired during the day makes it harder to take care of yourself or your responsibilities. Repeatedly not getting enough sleep can even cause physical health problems.
Neglecting Self Care
People with depression can be easily exhausted, which often leads to a lack of self-care. There’s a very good metaphor using spoons: suppose everyone starts their day with a bag full of spoons, and every time you do something you lose a spoon. Most people have lots of spoons and don’t think very much about where they’re using their spoons. People with depression, on the other hand, start with way fewer spoons. So showering, cleaning, or even brushing their teeth becomes difficult as they only have so many spoons they can allocate.
Apathy is one of the biggest symptoms of depression as it enhances other symptoms. It’s a lack of interest or concern. When someone is apathetic, they no longer care about anything. This can have a big effect on life, as the person experiencing apathy will no longer care about hobbies, friends, or family. Furthermore, they may no longer care about their health, finances, or career. The worst part is that the longer this goes on uninterrupted, the greater the effects will be.
If you’ve recognized someone you know in this list, the most important thing you can do is ask them how you can help. Everyone experiences depression differently and is in their own stage of their journey, and if you try to help them by forcing into a situation they’re not ready for you will only make them lose trust in you.