Throughout life certain circumstances cause us to worry about friends and family. Many individuals fear for the psychological health of loved ones. Although everyone experiences lowered mood from time to time there is a significant difference between that and clinical depression.
Clinical depression is associated with lowered motivation, increased fatigue, lower quality of life and increased mortality rate. Its effects influence every aspect of an individual’s life and can lead to suicidal thoughts. Therefore it is of great importance that development of the condition is identified as early as possible so that individuals displaying signs can gain the support they need. If you’re worried about a loved one here’s what to look out for:
• Mood swings
• Social isolation
• Change in eating habits
• Change in hygiene/personal presentation
• Reduced willingness to communicate
• Reduced engagement in hobbies and interests
• Substance/alcohol abuse
• Change in sleeping patterns
Depression is a treatable condition and therefore it is essential that individuals seek medical advice if they believe they may be experiencing symptoms. If you as a friend or family member identify signs associated with the condition it is advised that you encourage the individual in question to seek medical advice.
It was the misconception of many that the changes associated with depressing such as a chronically lowered mood is not a medical condition. This perception has long contributed to resistance to communication about individuals displaying signs associated with the clinical depression. With an increase in publication on the subject and research demonstrating the pathology and prevalence of depression, that public attitude is finally changing. It is now time to support those displaying symptoms and encourage individuals to seek medical advice, because it is a treatable and addressable condition.
Jack Barton (Researcher, Rescon Ltd)