For those who may be wondering what a depressed person goes through and some of the difficulties we face, this post was written to help others understand depression. Maybe you have a loved one who has symptoms of depression and it’s hard to figure out how to help them because you don’t know what they are going through.
My hopes with this post are to help others understand depression and find ways to help their loved ones when they are experiencing a depressive episode.
Symptoms of Depression
According to Medical News Today, here are 13 symptoms of depression:
- Feeling sad or empty
- Feeling hopeless or helpless
- Feeling worthless
- Feeling excessively guilty
- No interest or pleasure in activities
- Anger and irritability
- Feeling tired and a loss of energy
- Insomnia or lack of sleep
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
- Lack of appetite
- Overeating and weight gain
- Aches, pains, and physical symptoms
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Be sure to check out Medical New’s Today website to read more in depth about the symptoms above.
Here are 7 things people with depression have trouble with that make it hard to function normally in everyday life.
Getting out of bed in the morning
If you are not a morning person, you can kinda put yourself in the shoes of a depressed person, not wanting to get out of bed, though not entirely. People who don’t like mornings usually feel better after they wake up and get going.
With depression, there is no feeling better after you drag yourself out of bed. When someone is going through depression, sleep is a way to escape their thoughts and feelings. Having to wake up and deal with life can feel like a burden. It’s like not being a morning person times 100.
One of the hardest things for me when I am depressed is staying motivated. Motivation helps us get things done and stay on task. When motivation starts to disappear, it can feel like the days drag on. Finding direction can be exhausting and doing things you once loved becomes a chore. Sounds draining, right?
Unfortunately, a lot of the time, regaining motivation is draining and feels like it’s not worth it. Remind your loved ones to keep trying and ask them what they would like to do. Let them know, gently that if they don’t try to reclaim their lost motivation, they will continue to feel down in the dumps.
One of the symptoms associated with depression is appetite changes. Some people may not want to eat because they are too upset to eat. While others may overeat to comfort themselves. This can cause a lot of physical and mental problems.
Physically, you can become over or underweight rapidly, you can develop stomach problems, and sometimes your hair can start falling out because you’re not getting the proper nutrients to help maintain your body.
Mentally you can become overly tired, irritated, and have deeper depression. Appetite changes are a significant sign of depression. Try to gently remind your loved one to eat a reasonable amount of food every day. They may or may not listen, but at least you are thinking of them and are trying to be there for them. They will see the effort within time; just don’t become demanding and angry. This can turn them away from you even if you mean well.
People with depression often feel foggy-minded. Depression can feel like an emotional weight dragging you down. Sometimes it can feel like a numbness that you can’t explain or deep sadness that won’t go away no matter what you try. It’s mentally exhausting and can cause a foggy mind.
You can try helping by doing small things like picking up around the house, cooking, and being there for them to help lessen the load of everyday items. People with depression often are too mentally drained to keep up with the small every day, things like chores and making meals. This helps so much and can help motivate them to help you while you are helping them.
Withdrawing and Isolating
More often than not, people with depression will isolate themselves and withdraw from friends, family, and activities. We don’t like to burden people with how we are feeling and can become a bit of a hermit. Unfortunately, this can cause a deeper depression that lasts longer.
You can help your loved ones by continuing to be there and letting them know it is okay to talk to you about what is bothering them. Let them open up in their own time, just keep checking on them and being there.
People who experience depression often feel alone, even in a room full of people. It’s hard to accept and understand we are not alone in our thoughts and feelings, especially if we revert to isolating ourselves from others. The best thing you can do is to keep reassuring your loved ones that you are there and will do what you can to help them through their depression.
Unhealthy Thinking Patterns
I am not sure about others, but I know I personally have unhealthy thinking patterns when I am depressed. Some of my thought patterns look like this:
- I don’t matter.
- My feelings do not matter.
- Why should I care, they don’t care.
- Everything is pointless, so why bother?
- I mess up so much that there is no hope for me.
- This is not going to get better.
- Why would anyone want to be friends with me? I’m so down all the time.
If your loved one is saying some of these, they could be developing an unhealthy thinking pattern. Try to reassure them they are overthinking, and that they are loved, valued, and cared about. It can become frustrating, but you might have to repeat this to them a lot. Sometimes all we need is a little reassurance to help stop the rushing thoughts.
There you have it, symptoms of depression and 7 things people with depression have a difficult time with. Depression is more than feeling sad all the time. There are many things that contribute to depression. Hopefully, this post was able to help someone understand depression a little more than they already did. If your loved one is experiencing depression, hug them tight and let them know you are there, and they are loved.
The suggestions to help may or may not work. Everyone is different and responds to different things. These are some of the things that my friends and family helped me with. I thought it could be beneficial to others who want to be there and help their loved ones through their own depression.