Peaceful Awakenings

You’ve Got This

Tracy Becker

Michael asks: How do I know if someone is depressed?

Great question, Michael, as we often overlook symptoms. Thus, I will go over each clinical symptom of depression for you and our readers.

Moods. Anxiety, irrational fears, apathy, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interests, shame, decrease in fun activities and increase in sadness.

Sleep issues are also a major part of depression. Waking early, excessive sleepiness, insomnia in all its forms and restless sleep. i.e., waking tired, napping.

Physical symptoms can be excessive hunger or loss of appetite – resulting in weight gain or loss, fatigue, restlessness, unaccounted for aches and pains to include headaches and/or digestion issues triggered by thoughts or feelings, decrease in exercise and/or physical strength. Self-harming activities. Loss of desire to shower, dress and take care of one’s appearance.

Emotional changes can include agitation, anger, rages, irritable, excessive crying spells and a desire to isolate.

Mental cues are an inability to concentrate, loss of focus, loss of memory, slow to get things done or get motivated and not wanting to wake-up in the mornings. Ruminating on a single thought with a seeming inability to let it go.

Addictions, if the person has a history with them will likely increase be it drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc. Addictions come in many forms.

Suicidal thoughts must be attending to by a professional immediately. In addition, if they have a plan and a means to carry out the plan call the police, an ambulance or to take the person to the nearest emergency room instantly. The age range for suicides is highest for people between 45-54. A very close second is 85 years old and over. However, do not underestimate the younger community.

If you know anyone who is consistently experiencing a combination of these symptoms for 2 weeks or more, it is recommended that you assist them in getting professional help.

Resources: Safe Haven Hotline: 423-727-1914; Suicide Lifeline: 1-800-928-8255 (TALK); Crisis Response: 1-877-928-9062; Crisis Center Bristol: 276-466-5246