An article in the World Health Organization states that there are known effective treatments for depression, however, fewer than half of those affected in the world receive such treatments. In some countries only a tenth get access to them. Here in the Philippines, even fewer get the help needed because of lack of education and medical professionals to help them. The nearest most accessible help there is are educated and concerned friends and family. We have compiled a list of tell-tale signs you may observe from a depressed friend in hopes that you can spot them and guide them to get professional help before it becomes too late.
How to tell if your friend is Depressed
Your friend develops or already has a dim outlook in life.
In the internet culture Nihilism has gained quite a following. A number of popular shows centers around the main principles of Nihilism or the belief that life has no meaning. Some of my intelligent friends took on this belief. Many of them says they are on the phase in life where they question their own existence. I won’t lie, there was a time in my life where I was on that exact situation as well. I would highly recommend that you have to look out for these people. There are a lot of high IQ people that have low EQ. That means these people can’t handle their emotions well. Just remember, don’t push your beliefs on them. Learn to listen.
Your friend is visibly tired most of the time.
Some will still feel tired even if they have slept over 10 hours. Of course an illness may be the cause but most of the time people with depression will almost always have this tired feeling. I was in a similar situation a couple years back. If you are interested, read all about it here. I have friends who struggle even when getting out of bed. I would always try to find ways to get them up.
Your friend loses interest in day to day activities.
If you find your friends not caring anymore about former hobbies, social gatherings, or even sex, keep an eye on them. If you ask them about it, most of the time they will not know why they lost interest in the first place. They may try and rationalize it, or try to convince themselves of reasons they may have made up.
Your friend has a sudden change in appetite.
I’m not talking about weight loss only. Your friend may also gain weight in a short period of time. Look at these signs. It may not only signify depression, it may also indicate hidden illnesses. It will always be better to talk to your friend and have them open up about it.
Your friend may be having changes in sleep patterns.
It may be that your friend has developed insomnia. It will also be possible that your friend has been sleeping more hours lately. Each of us will have different sleeping patterns however, if your friend had a change in his or her regular sleeping pattern, there may be something to keep watch here.
Your friend may be angry and irritable or restless.
This may be a result of the changes in sleep or eating habits of your friend. If he or she was not really like this the way you knew him or her, you can suspect that something is amiss.
Your friend is always self-loathing.
At the more severe cases, your friend will have strong feelings of worthlessness, and guilt. He or she will tell you a number of reasons why a mistake or a series of them is his or her fault. It is quite rare that they will tell you that their existence is a burden but when they do please please try your very best to let him or her know that you need them.
Your friend has an observable difficulty in concentration.
Your friend will have trouble focusing, making decisions, and even remembering simple things. There will be times when you will get annoyed because of simple things that he or she will fail to do even though they were just very simple tasks.
Disclaimer: What is written here is not a 100% sure diagnosis of a clinically depressed person. I am assuming that the reader is neither a doctor or a medical professional capable of diagnosing people with clinical depression. However, if you see these signs in clusters please take the initiative to persuade your friend to go to a professional.
Being able to actively look for signs is a great start so we can look out for each other. These issues may have different causes when observed individually, however, if these issues are observed in clusters please don’t ignore them. Be one of your friends’ last candles through this dark time. Your friend will never forget how you stood by him or her on the darkest time of his or her life.