Depression is quite complicated. It entails a host of symptoms that perplex even the savviest therapist. Depression is even more complicated in children and men because the expression of symptoms is not as clear-cut for them as it is for others. Nonetheless, depression is one of those “diseases” that requires a compassionate, caring, knowledgeable, and understanding individual to identify it. Families, caregivers, and friends who suspect a loved one experiencing depression ought to know that depression can entail lots of symptoms. Sadly, many people believe depression is a sad mood, bad mood, or negative thinking that can be overcome through will power. This is not always the case. Depression often requires treatment.
I have always assessed depression by looking for 3 major defining features and you can do the same:
I often refer to depression as dark colored glasses. Depression causes people to see the world through dark and faulty lens. You can never really see the truth for the darkness. If the “darkness” persists, an individual can become numb to life around them and begin to lose the ability to feel present, engaged, or included in life. The human mind just simply checks-out.
If you suspect your loved one may be experiencing depression I encourage you to discuss your concerns with your loved one, tell them you care and want to make sure they are okay, explain that depression is typical and treatment is available, and then reach out for professional support. To start out, you can contact your PCP for a medical evaluation and referral. Before you go, read more about depression at WebMD.
In the next article, we’ll talk about coping skills.
I wish you all the best
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Last reviewed: 15 May 2013