Winter Blues: Warning Signs of Depression

blog-3-depression-01Wintertime is a season to snuggle up in blankets, drink warm cocoa, and stay cozy with family and friends in front of a warm hearth. Unfortunately, depression doesn’t follow a 9am-5pm schedule with a break for the holidays, and some of those very loved ones might be experiencing painful seasonal sadness.

Depression isn’t a made-up illness, and often impacts one’s emotional wellbeing and close relationships. In those situations, everyone is affected. Different types of depression, like major depressive disorder and seasonal depression, exist and influence how long or how severe the depression is. With all those variables, would you know if your child is depressed? Here are some common symptoms:

Emotional

  1. A persistently sad, numb, or hopeless mood towards life.
  2. General irritability or restlessness over minor issues; could even include outbursts of anger.
  3. Feeling worthless or guilty, with a fixation on past failures and blaming oneself.
  4. Visibly on edge and struggling to relax.

Social/Mental

  1. Diminished interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities, especially ones they used to love. Disinterest in or feeling burdened by social activities or engagement with others.
  2. Trouble concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things.

Physical

  1. Difficulties with sleeping, including insomnia or oversleeping.
  2. Decreased energy and general tiredness. Small tasks seem to take extra effort.
  3. Changes in appetite or weight that can include weight loss and lowered appetite, or overeating and weight gain.
  4. Persistent and/or unexplained physical problems like headaches, back pain, digestive problems, etc.

Original Source: DignityHealth.org

It’s important to note that not every depressed person will exhibit all of these signs. Some may even show only a few. It’s crucial to not only be aware of the warning signs, but assess the context of each individual’s situation before you decide an approach.

No one is born knowing how to deal with these situations, and it’s understandable to be flummoxed by the realization that someone you know might be experiencing painful thoughts. There are plenty of ways to approach and help, whether you see them at home or at school.

For answers to FAQ on the treatment and recognition of mental health disorders, click here.

If you or someone you know are experiencing pain or suicidal thoughts, there is always help:

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