Signs of Depression - What You Need to Look For

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Unlike illnesses like measles or the common cold, someone suffering from depression rarely show physical changes that can be easily spotted. Instead it's their actions in everyday life that begin to change. Friends of the sufferer who don't know much about depression can interpret these changes as either nothing important, or worse, see them as a reason to no longer be friends with the sufferer. However once you know what to look for, depression can become obvious.

If a friend or family member begins to show several (not just one or two) of these symptoms for more than two weeks, it is possible they are suffering from depression and need professional medical help.

1. The person has drastic change of appetite

Obviously if they are dieting this could explain the change. And other medical conditions can also trigger this symptom. But if someone who used to have a normal appetite suddenly starts gorging themselves (or eating almost nothing), and they have other symptoms on this list, it helps confirm a depression disagnosis.

2. The person has a sudden change in sleeping patterns

The classic sign of a sleeping change is a person staying it bed until after midday, but even a change to getting up really early in the morning can indicate depression.

3. The person suddenly loses interest in things and activities they used to enjoy

Everyone's tastes and interests change over time. But when a person has been passionate about a hobby, club or regular activity for a long time then suddenly doesn't want anything to do with it, depression may be the cause.

4. There is energy loss and presence of fatigue

Someone who is depressed can feel constantly tired, like they don't have the energy to do anything - even if they have been
sleeping and eating well.

5. The person loses hope

For someone with depression, there is never anything to hope for. They believe that bad things will always happen, and even if something good happens they will believe it's either not real, or something bad will follow very shortly to undo the good event.

6. The person has a "My life is passing by" feeling

Usually present with the loss of hope, the person begins to feel that their life is starting to unravel before their eyes, or that no matter what they do they have no control over it. They may feel there is nothing they can do to change their life.

7. The person becomes indecisive

Someone who used to be confident in their decisions suddenly starts to second-guess themselves, becoming indecisive and not sure what decision they should make. Even something as minor as what they should eat becomes a big deal.

8. The person feels they are unworthy

The person begins to feel that they have nothing to live for, or even that they are unworthy of being loved or appreciated. If left unchecked, this can sometimes progress into the next symptom.

9. The person is suicidal

This is a major and alarming sign that a person is depressed and medical help is needed. No matter what the situation (and even if they aren't showing any other signs of depression), do not delay in getting the person help.

10. The person becomes mentally disturbed

People who know the person well will notice that their thoughs seem to totally change - they may start thinking about morbid things, or bizare thoughts that they have never had before. In some cases, the person may even start hallucinating. This is another symptom where even if other signs of depression aren't present, the person obviously needs help.

11. The person develops physical aches

For no obvious physical reason, the person starts to get aches or muscle pains in their body.

12. The person becomes antisocial

Someone who is depressed will often cut themselves off from friends and family, either making excuses about why they can't join gatherings, ignoring all calls or visits, or even promising to meet up and then never showing. In some rare cases the person can exhibit the other extreme (they become afraid to be along and strive to always be with people, no matter how impractical).

Someone only having one or two of these symptoms is unlikely to have depression. And many of these symptoms can be the result of
other problems in the persons life. But when several signs are present, it is important to treat the problem seriously and try to get help for your friend or family member.

About the Author:

Jason Anderson is a long-time depression sufferer who finally decided to do something about it for himself and others. For a free copy of his report "The 11 Myths About Depression", please visit

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