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5 Signs of Depression in a Loved One

Person noticing signs of depression in a loved one

Depression is a complex mental health condition that impacts millions of American adults and youth from all walks of life. Though awareness about depression has increased in recent years, there remains a stigma that serves as a barrier to treatment. Experts predict that only about a third of individuals with depression seek professional help.

At Ashwood Recovery, we know that watching a loved one struggle with depression can be heartbreaking, and understanding how to help is not always straightforward. Our depression treatment program provides comprehensive, integrated care in a safe, comfortable environment. Our flexible outpatient programs allow patients to receive high-quality care while attending to everyday life. Depression is treatable. Call 888.341.3607 or contact our team online to learn how to spot signs of depression in a loved one and how we can help.

Learn to Recognize the Symptoms of Depression

When left untreated, depression can have devastating effects. While not everyone with depression experiences suicidal thoughts or actions, the risk of suicide is higher among individuals who have depression. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression is critical to helping a loved one get the help they need.

One of the challenges in recognizing depression is that the term is often overused or used to describe what is a period of sadness. Experiencing bouts of despair is a normal part of life that typically passes after a short time. When someone is feeling sad, there are things they can do to make themselves feel better.

By contrast, depression is marked by persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness that do not go away and impact various components of life, including thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and overall well-being.

5 Common Signs of Depression

Signs of depression are observable characteristics that can be noticed by friends, family, or healthcare providers. Five of the most common signs of depression are:

  1. Significant changes in weight
  2. Changes in sleep patterns
  3. Social withdrawal and isolation, including loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  4. Neglect of personal hygiene and appearance
  5. Difficulty concentrating or irritability

Depression is all-encompassing and can take over a person’s life. Individuals with depression might not be able to recognize or acknowledge it. Additionally, they may not understand the signs and symptoms of depression and believe that how they feel is “normal.” Often, those who can identify their depression feel embarrassed or ashamed, which prevents them from seeking help.

Other Symptoms of Depression

The symptoms of depression are what individuals subjectively experience that may not be outwardly observable by others. Consider the symptoms of depression to be the psychological and emotional thoughts and feelings that one experiences.

Though depression manifests differently for everyone, typical symptoms associated with depression include:

  • Persistent sadness or low mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Feelings of excessive worthlessness or guilt
  • Decreased self-esteem or self-worth
  • Extreme fatigue or lack of energy
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Physical aches and pains without a clear cause
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Both the signs and symptoms of depression are essential for understanding and diagnosing it. Signs of depression can provide clues as to one’s emotional state, while the symptoms reflect their internal experiences.

Enroll Your Loved One in a Depression Treatment Program at Ashwood Recovery

Living with depression can wreak havoc in the lives of the affected individual and their loved ones. Depression causes unnecessary pain and suffering. If you believe a loved one is struggling with depression, your support can be highly beneficial. For many individuals with depression, knowing they are not alone makes a world of difference.

At Ashwood Recovery, we understand the impacts of untreated depression. We also know that many individuals with depression turn to drug and alcohol use to find relief from their symptoms, creating a vicious cycle where depression and substance abuse feed off of one another. Therefore, we offer integrated dual diagnosis treatment at our outpatient treatment center in Idaho. If you have questions about identifying depression in a loved one, we can help. Contact us online or call 888.341.3607 to speak with one of our specialists and learn about depression treatment options.