Portfolio of Hope

There are several indicators that suggest that someone might be struggling with depression, with these indicators relating to their behaviour, emotions, and perceptions.

Behavioural indicators:

In terms of behavioural changes that someone experiencing depression might present themselves with, one of the main ones is a loss of interest in daily activities, hobbies, and social events (i.e.., all the things that one used to love.) This lack of interest tends to arise in response to the draining nature of depression that, often, causes those experiencing the illness to have no energy, mental or physical, to focus on anything other than how ‘bad’ they feel. People with depression therefore might resort to engaging in reckless behaviour in an effort to block out their negative emotions, by, for example, misusing substances, or gambling compulsively. Furthermore, someone struggling with depression might also experience drastic changes to their eating and sleeping habits. People experiencing depression might eat too much or not enough, thus causing significant weight gain or weight loss and, similarly, they might sleep too much or not enough, again, in an effort to ‘block out’ their negative emotions.

Emotional indicators:

On the topic of emotions, there will be key indicators relating to emotions that suggest that someone is struggling with Depression, however, the emotional indicators are not ‘one size fits all’, as people with depression experience very different emotions. For example, whilst some depressives will show little to no emotion, being unable to feel joy/pleasure, and thus presenting themselves ‘flatly’, other depressives will show heightened emotions, e.g., greater anger/irritability, with a reduced tolerance level and a short temper, claiming that ‘everyone and everything is getting on my nerves.’

Perceptual indicators:

Finally, changes to perception are also key indicators of depression. People might have recurring thoughts about death/suicide as they experience intense feelings of hopelessness. They might believe that ‘nothing will ever get better’ and that ‘there is nothing that can be done to improve the situation’ (i.e., they feel trapped and ‘unable to see the light.’)

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