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How to Identify If Someone is Clinically Depressed

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Clinical depression is more than simply feeling sad. Depression is a mental health disorder that can interfere with a personal quality of life and have detrimental effects on their mental and physical health and life in general.

However, it can be hard to identify if someone is suffering from depression as people will typically look to hide the symptoms or hide themselves away, so others do not see the change in them.

Symptoms of clinical depression include:

  • Loss of or poor appetite
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Increase in physical effects of depression such as increased headaches, joint pain or stomach aches
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • A decline in personal hygiene or cleanliness of living conditions
  • Increased crying or tearfulness
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Feelings of hopelessness or despair
  • Suicidal thoughts

Clinical depression can range from mild to severe, and getting the right help for someone you feel may be struggling with their mental health is vital.

How do you approach the topic?

Bringing up the fact you feel someone might be depressed can be a tricky conversation to initiate. Some people can pull themselves back from low feelings and regain their life before the depression started.

Other people may need the help and support of professionals in mental health. Talking to your doctor about medications or counselling therapy can help you look at what treatments are available to start to help them put a plan in action to help them work through their depression.

When discussing the topic of a person’s mental health, you need to be considerate that they might not be ready to admit this or talk about the topic, which can cause some irrational behaviour or defensive actions.

It is important to remain calm and avoid judging them or making them feel worse than they may already do. If they aren’t receptive to your intervention, then now might not be the right time to help them but letting them know they have options can be a great help when they have had time to think about it.

Medical Help for Depression

When seeking medical assistance for depression to make a final decision for treatment, it will depend on a few different factors, including;

  • When the symptoms started
  • How they’re affecting someone’s life
  • The severity of the symptoms
  • If depression runs in the family
  • If there is a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Recovery from Depression

Recovery times for the treatment of depression can be varied. It is improbable that any benefits will be felt immediately. While there may be a sense of relief that help is at hand, there isn’t a cure or a quick treatment. In many cases, people need to try different therapies or medications until they find what works.

Being patient will help, as will continually support even if they are feeling better. It is often the case that treatment for depression can take months or years, and it will be a journey rather than a quick fix.

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