How to Save a Life: Understanding the Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Why is it important to understand the signs and symptoms of depression


People experience depression in different ways. For some, it is a feeling of hopelessness or doom. Other people experience depression as restlessness or anger. In others, it is simply the inability to feel happiness or any other strong emotions.

It some circumstances, it ‘s hard to diagnose the signs and symptoms of depression in a friend or family member. Daily life is filled with errands, chores, work, or school. Rarely in the modern day do we stop to smell the roses or take particular care of the other people in our lives. Knowing the most common signs of depression and family counselling can help save a life.



The Common Signs of Depression

Many people with depression experience a disinterest in daily life. This apathy manifests itself as an absence of enthusiasm for old hobbies, an unwillingness to go to work, a lack of pleasure when spending time with family or friends. Many people pull away from social engagements and increasingly spend time in solitude when once there was an exuberance and joy in the company of others.

As well, depression leads to changes in daily habits. This can be a lack of appetite or inability to sleep. A lot of people experience insomnia, although, in other instances, people will sleep excessively and need to be coaxed from bed. These changes in routine can lead to a quick change in weight, which is another noticeable sign of depression.

Finally, depression has certain psychological symptoms. These also vary from person to person. For some, there is a need to engage in a reckless or dangerous behaviour. Other people become short-tempered, get easily angered, or annoyed by loved ones and menial tasks. If these unusual behaviours are detected from a friend or family member, it can be a sign of depression.



Some of these signs and symptoms are part of the normal mood swings and occasional lows that all people feel. It is not uncommon for stress or other factors to cause a moment of annoyance or need for a day in bed. However, when these symptoms persist, they become signs of depression.

Best Ways to Deal with Depression

Dealing with depression is necessary to get life back on track. It is not a health condition that can be ignored, although many people with depression try to avoid the steps needed to be healthy again. If you are depressed, a starting point is re-engaging with other people. If someone you know is experiencing depression, be an easy and accessible person for him/her to speak to or see on a regular basis. Sometimes it can help to eliminate the isolation and loneliness that feeds depression.

Also, get out in the world. It can be tough to immediately step in into a fast paced career or buzzing social group. So, start with volunteering at an animal shelter or visiting a café in your neighbourhood each morning. Begin to fill your day with simple and straightforward activities that require you to leave the house and find new purpose in the world.



Finally, find a fitness routine. Exercises build endorphins, a hormone in the body that helps make you feel happy. The more you move, the happier you should feel. This is a natural way to fight depression without taking a single medication.

Of course, if your depression is severe or ongoing, it is time to seek professional help. A therapist or psychiatrist can offer constructive ways to deal with depression. Often, these treatments are tailored to an individual and it is a huge benefit to sit down and talk to a mental health professional.



A mental health professional will also be in the best position to determine if someone should seek medical treatments, in addition to the natural remedies mentioned above. Depression can be attributed to a chemical or hormonal imbalance that specific medications will correct.

The importance of Asking, “Are You OK?”

Many people go through daily life with these suffocating feelings of loneliness or apathy. Some people never get the help and assistance they need and deserve. For the mere sake of living a full and happy life, it is important for loved ones, co-workers, friends, and neighbours who notice signs of depression to ask, “Are you ok?”.

More importantly, for some people, depression can become overwhelming. Many people feel they do not want to burden someone else in their life with the trials and tribulations of depression. Therefore, initiating a conversation about depression seems impossible.

For those who suffer from long-term or serious depression, it can feel like living in a black hole. The seemingly endless hopelessness and despair can lead to feelings of self-harm or suicide. A single conversation could be the catalyst to change these thoughts.