Signs and Support for Depression
By: Tayler Terrell, Masters Level Intern
As we enter the fall season, the seasons are changing which can also impact how we feel as well. Depression is a term that most of us have likely heard before and possibly felt. According to Torres, depression is noted to affect one in 15 people throughout the year and at least 1 in 6 people will encounter signs or symptoms of depression in their lifetime (2020). Depression is common and ultimately impacts our feelings, thoughts, and behaviors in a negative way. It can also affect our daily functioning in that we might feel different in our interactions with others and might notice an impact on our functioning at work or home. In reflecting on National Depression Screening Day which falls on October 6, 2022, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms. Screening for depression can assist with assessing how we feel and know if/when it’s important to reach out for help. More than anything this day reminds us to increase our awareness about depression and its significant impact on our emotional wellbeing. You don’t have to go through this alone and some professionals are willing to assist you through this difficult time.
Signs to look out for:
- Feeling sad or in a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure
- Appetite changes
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Low energy or increased fatigue
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Feelings of guilt
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating
- Thoughts about death or suicide
While the symptoms can range in different levels of severity, it’s important to note that depression is usually consistent for 2 weeks or more and somehow impacts our daily functioning. Depression is different from sadness and grief and since this is tricky to determine a screening or mental health professional would assist in identifying the difference. Even if we might not have experienced depression ourselves, someone we know may have gone through depression at some point or is going through it now. Even we can help to support someone who is going through depression.
Supporting someone with depression:
- Check-in – It can be difficult to navigate the discussion surrounding depression with someone you know. If you feel or notice any signs that occur, check in with that someone and let them know of your concerns.
- Listen – Hearing someone out when they are going through a tough time can be a significant reminder that someone cares. Allowing someone a safe space to share or voice how they feel can be helpful.
- Encourage – You can also help by supporting and encouraging others to find and utilize resources like therapy or self-care. Encouraging them to remain consistent even if it’s difficult.
- Take care of yourself – It can be heavy dealing with our own emotions, let alone others. Check-in with yourself if you are supporting someone with depression. Remember, your needs are important as well.
National Depression Screening Day. Mental Health America. (n.d.). Retrieved September 30, 2022, from https://www.mhanational.org/national-depression-screening-day
Raypole, C. (2021, November 3). Helping someone with depression. Healthline. Retrieved October 1, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-help-a-depressed-friend#how-to-help
Torres , F. (2020, October). What is depression? Psychiatry.org – What Is Depression? Retrieved September 30, 2022, from https://psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression#:~:text=Depression%20affects%20an%20estimated%20one,than%20men%20to%20experience%20depression.