When we’re close to someone, we can often sense that something is wrong. In many cases, you may be able to tell that something is wrong, even if you don’t recognize the signs. In other situations, maybe you have suspicions that your friend is depressed, but don’t know what to look for. Depression is very common among adults in the US, so knowing what to look for can be incredibly useful in helping your friend get help.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a mental illness that can affect people of any age or lifestyle. It is characterized by feelings of sadness, tiredness, hopelessness, emptiness, or even fear. There are many different symptoms and even though someone with depression may experience some or even many of the symptoms, the symptoms vary from one person to another, and each person’s experience with depression can be different from another’s.
Does My Friend Have Depression? Signs & Symptoms
Below are a few common ways to tell if your friend may have depression. There may be additional symptoms as well but these are many of the common and obvious signs.
Socializing Has Decreased
One indication that your friend has depression is that they begin to isolate themselves more and more. At first, this will look like decreased socializing, and cutting back on their participation in things they once loved. Eventually, you may notice they no longer socialize much at all.
They Display Emotional Changes
Outward changes in emotional stability are another strong indication of depression. In many cases, this can be a very obvious sadness, while in other people it manifests as constant and occasionally severe irritability. You may notice that they are suddenly cranky when normally they are joyful or easy-going.
Their Energy Levels Drop
Depression is well-known for causing a significant drop in energy levels. Your friend may seem tired all the time or begin sleeping excessively even though they state they aren’t overly tired. In people that are normally very high-energy or outgoing, this may be one of the major changes noticed by those close to them.
Illness Becomes More Common
Along with depression will sometimes come a decreased immune response. This means your friend that normally never gets sick may suddenly come down with illnesses more often.
Rapid Weight Changes
Another sign that your friend may be depressed is major metabolism changes. You might see them gain or lose 10+ pounds within a few weeks with no noticeable change in diet or exercise routine.
How To Help A Friend With Depression
One of the most effective ways to help a friend that has depression is to hear them and validate their feelings, while also helping them to see the benefits of getting professional help. Many times asking questions will help them to open up as well. Make sure that instead of interrogating them you are asking questions and listening to the answers.
If at all possible, gently point them in the direction of professional help. While venting to a friend and having a good heart-to-heart talk can have its benefits, depression is most effectively treated with psychotherapy and medication, in most cases.
Depression Can Be Common But Treatment Is Available
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses, but it is also one of the most challenging to treat due to how differently it affects each individual. At Casa Recovery, we have a full staff of trained clinicians that can help formally diagnose and treat the many forms of depression. If you or someone close to you is depressed, encourage them to reach out today and speak with a member of our admissions staff about their treatment needs.