Here’s how to identify signs of depression
12 Aug, 2020
Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life, but when emotions such as hopelessness and despair take complete control over our lives and just won’t go away, they become alarming signs of depression. Depression changes how we think, feel, and function. It can interfere with your ability to work, study, eat, sleep, and live a normal life. Just trying to get through the day can be overwhelming. While some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. If depression is left untreated, it can become a serious health condition. Dr. Kavita Bhargava, a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Counselor and an expert in Emotional Freedom Technique discusses how to identify the signs of depression.
In order to identify whether the person is undergoing depression or not we need to observe if a person a person experiences any of the following five symptoms for a minimum of two weeks.
- Depressed mood for most part of the day, nearly every day.
- Diminished interest or pleasure in almost all activities of the day.
- Significant weight gain or loss when not dieting and/ or loss of appetite.
- Insomnia or hypersonic (sleeping too much).
- Abnormal restlessness or a drop in physical activities.
- Fatigue or loss of energy.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt.
- Diminished ability to think, concentrate or make decisions.
- Recurring thoughts about death, or suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts.
- Lack of focus or concentration.
- Mood swings and sudden outbursts of anger.
- Regular aches and pains in the body.
For a lot of people, depression manifests as them struggling with routine work, even getting out of bed. They will completely isolate themselves, won’t communicate with anyone and will feel extremely restless. However, when you feel restless, you need to channelise your energies by doing physical activities such as walking, jogging, exercising etc. which increases the serotonin (also known as feel good hormone) levels in the body. When a person is undergoing depression, the serotonin levels reduce to a great extent. Serotonin is a chemical that has a wide variety of functions in the human body. It is also called the happy chemical, because it contributes to well-being and happiness of an individual.
The expert shares her own experience
According to Dr. Bhargava, if a person is having minor depression, then the normal day-to-day activities of the person will not be affected. However, if the person is clinically depressed, then the person cannot follow a regular daily routine. However, if a person is suffering from minor depression, the people around them may not understand what the other person is going through and may totally miss the signs. Dr. Bhargava cites an example of her father, who once stepped in her room to say something to her, and suddenly went blank and started shaking. She was under the impression that he was under stress due to personal disputes with a relative. But after this incident, Dr. Bhargava was certain that he was minorly depressed.
Be non-judgmental and empathetic
Dr. Bhargava states that we need to be very observant and look out for signs of depression. Any changes in the person’s daily routine or loss of interest in doing what the person usually enjoys doing are tell-tale signs of depression. If somebody is calling out for help, just put everything aside and listen with undivided attention. Don’t judge the person or lecture them. We should be empathetic, understanding and let the person vent out. We should show the person the positive side of things, how to deal with the situation and guide them towards light.
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