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:
- Work or school
In mild or moderate depression, these areas may still be affected, but to a lesser extent.
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 or returning texts, emails or other messages.
- 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
- Refusing to ask for help.
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.
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