Social Signs of Depression

Symptoms of depression do not occur in a vacuum.  Much of the information on depression highlights its signs and symptoms.  While important, what is often missing is the impact of these symptoms on the affected person’s life.

A Matter of Degree

When depression is severe, a person is usually functioning poorly in the following areas:

  • Relationships
  • Work or school
  • Leisure

In mild or moderate depression, these areas may still be affected, but to a lesser extent.

Examples

Obviously, each person’s life situation is unique and the impact of depression will vary.  And, some of the more common impacts include:

  • Not wanting to leave the house for any reason, often staying in bed all day in the dark.
  • Not answering the phone.
  • Refusing requests to see friends, isolating self from others.
  • Doing the bare minimum in terms of parenting duties or leaving all parenting duties to a spouse if there is one.  In rare cases children may be completely neglected, necessitating a response from the child protection department. Parents may also be consumed with anger and irritability, feeling constantly “at the breaking point.”
  • Refusing to attend social activities or choosing to attend but feeling completely disconnected from others or keeping to oneself.
  • “Putting on a mask”– pretending to others that things are okay when they are not. Sometimes the person will look very “put together” and will completely deny the presence of problems. This is often a very frustrating situation for family members who know differently.
  • Underfunctioning at work or school or completely unable to attend work; failing school.
  • Not finding anything enjoyable anymore, including things that used to be enjoyable

Psychological help and strategies can make a critical difference in resolving a depressive episode. I welcome a call or email from you or a concerned loved one.