5 Signs That Your Loved One May Be Depressed

Apr 05, 2023
5 Signs That Your Loved One May Be Depressed
Millions of Americans struggle with depression, a condition that impacts your physical and emotional well-being. Effective treatments exist, but many people don’t recognize the signs of this mental health disorder. We’ve got you covered.

Worried your loved one could have depression? It’s a common concern, with over a half a million people in the United States reporting signs of mental health distress, and almost 18 million U.S. adults reporting that they experience at least one depressive episode each year. 

Since 2020, the number of Americans seeking depression screenings rose by almost 900%, yet it’s not always easy to know if the symptoms you notice could be caused by depression, or if some other issue is at play. That’s why it’s important to talk to a provider who understands mental health concerns when you’re worried about depression in yourself or a loved one.  

At Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania, our experienced providers offer comprehensive depression screenings at our twelve locations across northeastern Pennsylvania. Our team never wants access to be a barrier to mental health care, so we also provide van transportation services to and from our center and a sliding fee schedule for patients who qualify. 

Reach out to us for a professional opinion if you’re worried about depression. In the meantime, keep reading to learn about five common signs that your loved one might have depression. 

1. Fatigue or sleep troubles

Is your loved one feeling tired or fatigued all the time? Are they struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleeping too much? Fatigue and sleep troubles are common, yet often overlooked, signs of depression. 

Depression can make you feel completely drained, like you have no energy. Getting through your everyday activities might exhaust you or take longer than normal because you’re so tired.  

People with depression also tend to struggle with sleep, which can make fatigue symptoms worse. Some might wake up too early, while others have a hard time falling asleep. Some deal with insomnia, and others might feel like sleeping all day.  

2. Losing interest in things you like 

If your loved one no longer cares about things they used to enjoy, including sex, favorite hobbies, or social activities, it could be a sign of depression. Depression can make it nearly impossible to experience feelings of happiness, joy, and pleasure. 

This can cause a loss of interest or withdrawal from activities your loved one used to look forward to doing or taking part in. It can also lower their sex drive, and for men, it can even contribute to impotence.  

3. Experiencing helplessness or hopelessness

People with depression often have a bleak outlook on life. This can give them a strong sense of hopelessness or helplessness, since they feel like they can’t control their situation or the direction of their life. 

This can also show up as feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, extreme guilt, or self-blame. If your loved one tells you they think everything is their fault, that there’s no sense trying to do things differently because it won’t matter, or similar expressions of hopelessness, it could be a sign of depression.  

4. Appetite and/or weight changes

Significant changes in appetite or weight is another common sign of depression, although not everyone experiences these changes the same way. Some people may eat more frequently or eat higher calorie “comfort foods,” and therefore gain weight. Others might lose their appetites and shed pounds without trying. 

If your loved one has quickly gained or lost weight without intending to, or if they’ve mentioned that they’re having appetite changes, it’s time to talk to a provider at Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania about scheduling a depression screening.  

5. Mood swings

When people think about depression, they usually think about feeling down or experiencing deep sadness. In reality, depression can cause a host of different emotions. 

For some people with depression, these different emotions trigger mood swings. Your loved one might find themselves crying and feeling sad one minute, then filled with anger or rage the next. Mood swings like this can be a sign of depression.

Professional depression screening 

If you suspect depression, encourage your loved one to get a professional depression screening, since symptoms can be tricky to discern, at least in the sense that most everyone experiences some of these symptoms at one time or another. 

For people with depression, however, these symptoms interfere with their ability to carry out their day-to-day activities. Or, they might be able to get through their daily responsibilities, but feel unmotivated, miserable, and generally unhappy.  

It’s also important to remember that depression symptoms can look different depending on age, gender, and overall health. Some people might have physical symptoms, like back pain or digestive trouble, while some might notice headaches or jaw tension. 

You can schedule an appointment online or over the phone for a depression screening at your nearest Rural Health Corporation of Northeastern Pennsylvania center in Monroe Township, Nuremberg, Laporte, Falls, Edwardsville, Shickshinny, Wilkes-Barre, Sullivan Trail Fall, Freeland, or Hazelton, Pennsylvania.

And don’t forget, we offer van transportation services, accept all forms of health insurance, and offer a sliding fee schedule to ensure you and your loved ones can access the care you need without worry.