Here are some tips to help you discover if your loved one is suffering from depression:
- They may overcompensate. To hide their depression, they overcompensate by being more outgoing than usual. Studies show that people trying to hide their depression can force themselves to be more outgoing and give fake smiles. People that do this are trying to keep their issues undercover, so they want others to think they are fine and how they show this is by smiling lots. If you know your loved one is down but when they go out they paint on a smile, ensure they know that sharing their true feelings with you is ok.
- They have changes in their eating habits. Issues with food are common among those with depression. Changes in appetite with depression happen a lot and a person suffering with depression may eat too much or too little, show lots of interest in food or report feeling nausea on a regular basis. If you notice diet changes in your loved one, consider what is happening. Food can serve as an emotional trigger; your loved one may be using food to try to make themselves feel better or worse.
- They have angry outbursts. These outbursts can become more frequent as the depression gets worse – An occasional angry outburst is normal for everyone. However, if you notice frequent and strange angry outbursts, this may be a way that they are dealing with depression.
- Their sleep patterns change. Unhealthy sleep patterns are an issue for those with depression. Your loved ones may sleep too much or too little. They may complain about not getting enough sleep, sleeping in the day, or refusing to go to bed. Insomnia is also frequently linked to depression. Sleep can however be chicken and egg, as a sleep problem can also be the cause of depression itself, so please support your loved to see the GP who can investigate this further.
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