While the psychologists located in Montreal’s West Island can easily diagnose depression in their patients, you can also identify whether you or someone you care about is suffering from this disorder without being a professional. You just need to know the warning signs and symptoms to be able to detect the signs, allowing you to help you or them improve the situation.
Being able to recognize if someone is suffering from depression can make a lot of difference, as early detection can lead to a more effective treatment and faster recovery. Below are some of the signs and symptoms that a person will show when they suffer from depression. If you notice any of these signs, it’s advisable to set an appointment with a psychologist for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
- Low Mood
Depression has two core symptoms that are used for diagnosis, with the first being low mood. A person who has a low mood often feels sad or empty, which can be seen in how he or she interacts with other people (if there is interaction at all). A person with a low mood may also cry frequently, either alone or in a group.
- Reduced Interest in Activities They Used to Enjoy
This is the second core symptom of depression that psychologists or therapists use to diagnose depression. When a person enjoys a particular activity and then suddenly shows diminished interest or pleasure, it can be a cause for major concern.
- Significant Weight Change
When someone is depressed, it does not necessarily mean that he or she will lose weight. Sometimes, a depressed person can also gain weight. The change in weight can be considered alarming when the gain or loss is about 5 percent or even more in a month.
- Sleep Disturbances
A person who has been experiencing problems sleeping can be depressed. Some of the more specific signs can even be extreme. Difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep for prolonged hours can be an indication that he or she is depressed. In addition, daytime sleepiness or feeling sleepy even after a full night’s rest can also be considered as a symptom.
People who are depressed find themselves struggling to function properly. This can be due to loss of energy or fatigue, which is another common sign of depression. Fatigue can be apparent when the person has difficulty concentrating, always feels sleepy, and has a lower threshold for physical activities or gets tired easily.
- Agitation or Retardation
A depressed person can show signs of being agitated, restless, or lethargic. These signs can affect that person’s appearance, behavior, and daily routine and can be easily noticeable to other people. Agitation and retardation can also be evident in their speech, reaction, and body movements.
- Feelings of Guilt
A person who is depressed may feel guilty about things that he or she does not have any control over, or indeed about an instance in which they compromised their own values. Sometimes, this feeling can lead to shsame and self-harm.
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Although there may be no actual plan to carry it out, depressed people may frequently think of death and suicide. This can appear as the only way for them to temporarily escape from what they are going through, by offering a sense of departure. Of course, such thoughts are to be treated seriously, and the person offered full support if they reach this frame of mind upon a regular basis.
It is important to remember that these symptoms may be exhibited by people who are depressed, but it could also indicate different problems. On the other hand, there are also instances wherein a depressed person may not even show any signs or symptoms at all. Still, when you feel or notice that something is not right, the best thing you can do is to consult a medical professional.