Depression is more or less like malware on a device. It’s a silent killer, but not impossible to detect. If you’re alert enough and watchful of giveaways, you can actually pull a loved one out of the quicksand that they probably weren’t even aware they were sinking into. As a rule of thumb, I always try and be nice with people, obviously, except for when they’re nasty with me – if something’s thrown at you, that does not belong to you, throw it back. But, NEVER be the one to attack first.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Having understood that, also keep a hawk’s eye on people’s behavioural patterns while you interact with them. This will give you cues as to how they feel about the way you talk to them. That way, you can alter your behaviour around them, in order to make them as comfortable as possible. Look for one of these signs that could tell you if the person you care for is going through an emotionally draining phase:
1. Not just feeling blue
We all go through ups and downs in life. But when a person experiences lurking sadness, that’s a cause for concern. However, persistently feeling low is not the only sign of depression. In fact, a lot of depressed people may almost always feel anxious, aggressive, or even apathetic, lifeless, and empty.
2. Focus issues, sudden issues with memory and poor decision-making
Depression is commonly associated with many types of cognitive deficits. And still we tend to take focus issues and poor recall abilities lightly. If untreated, cognitive impairment can over time, become a serious issue and add to the anxiety a person is already experiencing.
3. Feeling guilty, self-worth issues
When a person is under the level of stress that one experiences when depressed, reasoning is bound to go for a toss. At such times, it is quite possible that they may experience unrealistically negative emotions towards themselves.
4. Persistent pessimism
We’re all irked by those people around us who keep on bickering incessantly, and almost always hold negative or demotivating opinions on everything. This is most probably a sign that they are dealing with a bigger problem, and unfortunately, are not even aware of it.
5. Sudden loss of appetite
A person’s appetite may change with the change in season or in one’s lifestyle. But, it could also be a hint about an internal battle they’re fighting. Stress can affect people’s appetite greatly, and also cause major fluctuations in weight.
6. Unexplainable aches
Depression patients would often complain of body aches, the most common ones being head, stomach, back aches and muscle pains. Chronic pain and depression are known to occur together, and often the former can aggravate a person’s mental turmoil.
Mental stress can result in loss of energy and cause sluggishness. Often even talking to people can get exhausting. This is why often, depression results in a person feeling anti-social.
If you notice these symptoms in a person around you, do not take these signs lightly. At the same time, make sure you don’t explicitly tell them they’re in depression or they need help.