The top five warning signs of depression

The top five warning signs of depression
Warning signs of depression, as opposed to risk factors for depression, are indicators that suggest a person could be experiencing a dip in their mental health or, possibly, depression. Look out for these tell-tale signs of depression to help you determine the status of someone’s mental health:

1. A change in eating patterns

When someone is depressed, their appetite and diet are often affected as they may turn to food as a source of comfort; causing them to overeat, or lose interest in food altogether; causing them to under eat. Sudden changes in eating patterns, accompanied by weight loss or gain, indicate that a person’s mental health may be undermining their ability to maintain their physical health.

2. A change in sleeping patterns

Depression often causes people to undergo a relatively sudden or uncharacteristic change in sleeping patterns. Some who have depression find themselves sleeping far more than the recommended 8 hours a night and struggle to wake up and face the day. Others battle to fall asleep and spend hours tossing and turning at night with no relief, despite being exhausted.

3. A lack of interest in activities or surroundings

Depression can cause people to become indifferent towards activities or hobbies that once excited them. For example, an avid artist or mountain climber may gradually find that they no longer care about new exhibitions, or are uninterested in a new hiking route.

4. Preoccupation with dark issues like death or suicide

Depression, in its most serious forms, can cause people to become suicidal. Hence, a sudden interest in talking about or investigating topics like death, suicide, or the afterlife could indicate a dark and negative state of mind.

5. Experimentation with unhealthy pass times

Depression can cause people to crave a sense of relief from their reality and emotions. Often, this relief can no longer be found in ordinary and healthy hobbies. As a result, many who suffer from depression turn to more extreme distractions such as abuse of prescription or illegal drugs and alcohol, self-harm and more.