Depression is a serious illness, and its signs should never be ignored. “Family and friends have a big influence on getting the person help,” says Dr. Kuntz. “They can’t make the diagnosis, but they can bring it to someone’s attention.”
Getting someone to seek help may not be easy. “People with depression typically don’t want to think about treatment,” . “The depression itself makes them less likely to get treatment too.”
If the person won’t respond to friends or family, it may be necessary to get a primary care doctor to intervene. More family doctors are screening for depression, and they often refer patients to a therapist who can come up with a treatment plan.
So how do you spot depression? Besides persistent feelings of sadness, signs may include:
Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual.
Changes in appetite.
Withdrawal from social interaction.
Loss of interest in things that used to be pleasurable.
Lack of energy, difficulty concentrating or remembering things.
Feeling worthless and helpless.
Most new moms experience “baby blues,” but they usually pass a week or two after delivery. If symptoms persist or worsen, it could be postpartum depression.
Younger children who are depressed may avoid school, complain of feeling ill, or become clingy with parents. Adolescents may become sulky and defiant.
culled from: everyday health