What Are the Signs of Depression?

Depression affects people differently. Yet, everyone has experienced at least some symptoms of depression at one time or another. However, depression is more than short-lived moments of feeling down. It is an emotional and behavioral shutdown that makes ordinary living difficult.

Psychotherapy has different approaches available for helping people deal with depression. A depressed person faces particular in-life situations that are unique to them. For this reason, psychotherapists advise different approaches for different people, depending on their specific challenges.

Symptoms of Depression

What does depression look like? Some of the symptoms people experience when depressed include:

  • Sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Empty moods
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Pessimism
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Guilt feelings
  • Helplessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
  • Decreased energy
  • Fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble concentrating and remembering
  • Indecisiveness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide
  • Insomnia
  • Appetite changes
  • Chronic pain
  • Digestive disorders
  • Headaches

(Reference: Psychology Today)

What Can You Do to Help a Depressed Friend or Loved One?

An article in Psychology Today offers suggestions for helping a depressed friend or loved one:

  • Schedule a regular time to get together. A depressed person is unlikely to initiate doing things. Having a regular time established can help them.
  • Exercise together. Exercising stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, which can help dispel depression.
  • Cook together. Preparing healthy meals can also help if your friend isn’t motivated to eat well.
  • Counteract negative predictions. Also talk about possible good outcomes or neutral outcomes.
  • Lessen self-criticism and solve problems. Depressed persons tend to self-criticize. Help the person to be more self-compassionate, so they can think about helpful actions, make helpful behavioral choices and feel better.

Of course, encouraging a loved one or friend to receive psychotherapy is one of the most effective ways you can help them.

If you experience depression, our therapists at Affordable Therapy Los Angeles would like to help. We’ve helped enable many people to feel better and get on with their lives.