Noticing Signs of Depression in Loved Ones
Have you recently noticed changes in weight, appetite, sleep patterns, cognitive abilities, and mood regulation in a loved one? If so, they may potentially be experiencing clinical depression. Depression is a mood disorder that affects the daily lives of those who suffer from it. The symptoms faced by those with depression alters perspectives and emotions, and fall outside of the typical range of feelings experienced by the general population.. It is important to be able to accurately understand and identify the signs of the disorder in family and friends so that you can provide appropriate support and encourage the affected individual to seek depression help.
Symptoms of Depression
In order to provide the best depression help to patients, clinicians first have to ensure that depression is the correct diagnosis. There are nine symptoms used as criteria for diagnosing depression. Noticing these symptoms in family members and friends may be an indicator that they are experiencing this condition.These are:
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
- Weight and appetite changes
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulties concentrating
- Physical discomfort
- Low self-esteem
- Suicidal ideation
Depression in Women, Men, Children and Adolescents, and Senior Citizens
Depression in Women
If your loved one is a woman, she is twice as likely to develop depression than a man, says HelpGuide.org. Women are more likely to have:
- Feelings of guilt
- Weight fluctuations
- Appetite changes
- Cognitive problems
- Loss of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
- Feelings of despair
Depression in Men
Societally, men are expected to limit their emotional expressions; demonstrating feelings such as helplessness is seen as weak and not masculine. It is for this reason that men often ignore the emotional symptoms of depression, instead focusing on the physical side effects. If a man you care about is clinically depressed, you may notice he is having:
- Sleeping issues
- Back pain
- Sexual problems
- Participation in unsafe behavior
Due to the fact that men often only report the physical symptoms, misdiagnosis can lead to depression going untreated. Men who have depression commit suicide four times more often than women, states HelpGuide.org.
Depression in Children
A clinically depressed child or adolescent will experience similar symptoms to adults, with the additions of academic difficulty. They may also experience:
- Frequent absences from school
- Persistent sadness and crying
- Violent behavior
- Clinginess to caregivers
- Extreme sensitivity to rejection and failure.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, five percent of children and adolescents will experience depression at any given time. Signs of depression are more likely to appear in girls than boys.
Depression in Senior Citizens
Older adults experience many of the same signs of depression as others, though the condition may be difficult to detect. This is because symptoms like loss of appetite, fatigue, and sleeping troubles are a common occurrence during the aging process. Many ailments that older adults in your life may have can cause these symptoms as well. Depressed men age 85 and over have the highest suicide rates, notes the National Institute of Mental Health.
Risk Factors for Depression
Some of the factors that put your loved ones at risk for developing symptoms of depression vary between groups, while some are the same across the board. Women may experience depression caused by biological factors such as hormonal changes caused by menopause, premenstrual problems, and pregnancy. As well, signs of depression may arise from body image issues and workplace discrimination. For men, a history of drug or alcohol abuse may cause symptoms of depression. Older adults who experience illness, isolation, and the lack of sense of purpose may develop this condition. Factors that pertain to women, men, children/adolescents, and older adults are:
- Lack of social support
- Financial strain
- A history of abuse
- Relationship problems
- Stressful life events
Depression is a mood disorder that has the potential to severely hinder the life of those who suffer from it. All individuals experience some similarities regarding risk factors associated with the development of depression, and the signs that appear with the disorder. As well, there are unique causes and symptoms associated with depression, depending on whether the person is a woman, man, child/adolescent, or older adult. Being able to recognize the signs of depression will help ensure that people are better equipped to aid their loved ones with determining the best course of action when seeking depression help.
Los Angeles PTSD medical research studies can provide the latest treatments, as well as access to medical professionals and lab work. Furthermore, some participants are compensated for their time and efforts to find a cure for depression. To learn more about Los Angeles clinical trials for PTSD or other forms of medical issues, contact the Pacific Institute of Medical Research, which is an independent clinical research site specializing in psychiatry since 1982. Visit us online or call us at (310) 208-7144.