The first step toward defeating depression is to define it.
But people who are depressed often have a hard time thinking clearly or recognizing their own symptoms.
They may need your help.
Do they express feelings of…
- Sadness or “emptiness?”
- Hopelessness, pessimism, or guilt?
- Helplessness or worthlessness?
Do they seem…
- Unable to make decisions?
- Unable to concentrate and remember?
- Have lost interest or pleasure in ordinary activities—like sports or band or talking on the phone?
- Have more problems with school and family?
Do they complain of…
- Loss of energy and drive—so they seem “slowed down?”
- Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting up?
- Appetite problems; are they losing or gaining weight?
- Headaches, stomach aches, or backaches?
- Chronic aches and pains in joints and muscles?
- restless or more irritable?
- They want to be alone most of the time?
- They’ve started cutting classes or dropped hobbies and activities?
- You think they may be drinking heavily or taking drugs?
Have they talked about..
- Suicide—or have they attempted suicide?
…Find Someone Who Can Help
If you answered yes to several of the items, a friend or YOU may need help.
Don’t assume that someone else is taking care of the problem. Negative thinking, inappropriate behavior or physical changes need to be reversed as quickly as possible.
Not only does treatment lessen the severity of depression, treatment also may reduce the length of time (duration) your friend is depressed and may prevent additional bouts of depression.