Are you concerned someone you know may be depressed and would like to know how you can help? First learn how to diagnose depression – it is important that if you have a teenager, learn what the depression symptoms are in teenagers. Then, try to understand, what depression feels like to the individual. But first, who does depression affect?
Who does depression affect?
Depression can affect people in any walk or stage of life. Women who have just given birth sometimes develop what is termed “postpartum depression”. Children can develop depression especially if there is family history, based on weather factors or if there has been an emotionally traumatic event. Teens and young adults, as well as people in their mid-life, often become depressed when overwhelmed with life, the need to make choices that will impact their future, or experience financial crisis.
Who does depression affect? Just about everyone.
How to diagnose depression
Since depression is a mental illness, there is no easy scientific test that can be used to diagnose depression. Psychologists often use depression self-test reports, referrals from the family or a general practitioner.
Here are some questions that will help you determine if a friend or family member is suffering depression:
● Do they have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep (waking, tossing and turning, nightmares) ● Do they feel tired and are they run down a lot? ● Have they lost or gained a lot of weight, not due to deliberate dieting? ● Has their sex drive diminished significantly (where applicable)? ● Is there a family history of depression? ● Do you live in a climate that is know to trigger depression (overcast, rainy a lot) ● Have they expressed feelings of stress, anxiety, or that life is not worth living? ● Does their mood get worse in the fall and winter? ● Do they act unhappy all the time? ● Does their self esteem seem low? ● Do they crave junk food? ● Have they become anti-social?
This is just a short list of questions for how to diagnose depression. If based on these questions you are concerned, it may be time to seek help from a qualified psychologist.
Depression symptoms in teenagers
If you have a teenager, you may be concerned they are affected by depression. Depression symptoms in teenagers are very similar to those in adults however, since a teenager can be moody in general, it can be hard to tell the difference.
Look for mood swings. If your child is usually very outgoing, and suddenly is not, or is usually very quiet but happy, but suddenly is angry or frustrated a lot, these may be signs that they are unhappy about something or dealing with an emotional or mental stress, that may be making them depressed and overwhelmed.
What does depression feel like?
Often the descriptions for what depression feels like are very similar, whilst other descriptions are unique to the individual. Here are some expressions that people who are depressed often use:
● I am so overwhelmed ● I feel like I am in a dark tunnel ● Everything just feels pointless ● I feel like I am moving in slow motion ● I am so sad all the time ● I am so mad and irritated ● It’s hard to concentrate ● I just can’t do anything right
If you think you, a family member or a friend is suffering from depression, you should seek assistance from your General Practitioner or consider seeking depression counselling from a qualified psychologist