How to spot depression in someone close
According to the Mental Health Foundation, between four and 10% of people living in England will experience depression at some stage in their life. There are many ways to develop depression. For example, some develop it after an event while others seem to develop it without any reason at all.
It’s difficult when it affects you or the people close to you. Sometimes the feelings are gradual, yet other times it just hits you.
Here are a number of depression warning signs to help you spot the mental health condition in someone you love:
- Abnormal sleeping patterns – sleeping too much or sleeping too little.
- Feelings of guilt, negativity or a loss of self-confidence.
- A loss of interest in activities they typically enjoyed.
- Talking about suicide or death or having suicidal thoughts.
- Struggling with the feelings of sadness, anxiety, hopelessness, anger, irritability or frustration over very small things.
- Difficulty with remembering things or thinking clearly. Typically completes tasks slower than usual.
- A loss of appetite or eating too much – linked with emotional eating.
What should you do if you think someone close to you has depression?
Firstly, if you think it’s extremely serious – i.e. thoughts of suicide – you should dial 999, speak to your GP or ask the person to speak to someone who is trained to listen (The Samaritans, for example, on 116 123).
If you are unsure if they do have the mental health condition – talk to them. It can be difficult to approach the subject, so try to wait for the right time. If this conversation results in conformation, encourage them to speak to their GP.
After an initial conversation with their doctor, it will open up a number of avenues that can help that typically include psychotherapy. However, another option that may be able to help is hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy aims to treat the root cause of the condition and tries to develop better coping behaviours. If the depression is caused by an event, hypnotherapy will try to address the person’s perception of the event with the aim of improving their mood, self-esteem and help them regain their independence.
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