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How to Recognize the Signs of Depression in a Friend

By Edited Jan 10, 2016 0 2

Depression is not simply being unhappy or sad. It is connected to a chemical imbalance that carries signals to your brain and nerves. It is a serious medical condition and should not be taken lightly for the safety of the individual and others around them. It can be treated with medications and other therapies successfully. But first it must be diagnosed.

Things You Will Need

Family background

Current health history

Step 1

Review the individuals family history. Depression has been found to be hereditary.

Step 2

Identify any recent trauma or stress that has occurred. Financial problems, the loss of a loved one, the breakup of a relationship; but even positive life cycle events like graduation or marriage can cause feelings of depression.

Step 3

Observe whether the person has a negative attitude all the time. Constant pessimism, can be a result of low self-esteem and these chronic conditions can be caused by a specific form of depression called dysthymia. This form of depression can appear for most of a day, and symptoms can be apparent for several days at a time, and can last for more than 2 years.

Step 4

Uncover whether the person has medical conditions like heart disease, cancer, HIV which can increase the likelihood of depression. Depression can contribute to the disease actually getting worse, because depression can weaken the immune system. At times, depression is brought on by medications used to treat other diseases. It is imperative to honestly tell medical professionals everything.

Step 5

Notice if there are changes in a long standing medical condition. These changes can bring on feeling of fear and uncertainty. Specific medical treatment of the condition is a place to start, but the fear may linger after the initial phase of treatment is successful.

Step 6

Watch for changes in eating habits. Depression is often associated with eating disorders. It can exhibit itself in either eating too little or eating too much. The important factor is a significant change in their eating habits.

Step 7

Symptoms that a person may show include sadness, loss of interest in things they

previously liked to do, feelings of guilt or dissatisfaction, an inability to concentrate or difficulty making decisions. A lack of energy can cause fatigue or constantly feeling tired, yet they are unable to maintain a normal sleep pattern – these are additional signs of depression. Some individuals experience aches and pains; some are seen to be very irritable and display bouts of temper at others.


Tips & Warnings



Dec 14, 2009 6:14pm
I'm glad you see you defining depression as the chemical imbalance that it is. So often, I think people misunderstand depression. Chronic pain is a huge cause of depression also tying in with steps 4 and 5. Depression is definitely a deadly illness.
Dec 14, 2009 8:46pm
Depression can be caused by many things...and it needs to be taken seriously. Minimizing it, doesn't make it go away...actually quite the opposite.
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