How does one know if and when a person is beginning to slip into depression? Are there any red flags, warning signs, or indicators that one can use to tell and or maybe help one know if and when one seems to be slipping down that slippery depressing slope? Well, there are a number of signs and the depression red flags shared in this article will show you.
Depression itself can be successfully managed with medication, psychotherapy, or a combination of both. However, the earlier a person with a depressive illness or signs of challenging mental health or stress begins to receive treatment and get help, the more successful it is and the greater the chance that recurrence can be prevented.
Let’s take a look at some depression red flags that indicate one is slipping into a depression:
#Flag 1: You Observe Sudden or Drastic Change In Your Eating Habit
Have you been eating a little too much lately? Perhaps your eating times have drastically altered over a space of weeks or even a month. Might be an early warning signal.
Are There Warning Signs One Is Losing It?
For some people, food and eating happen to be a seeming coping mechanism whenever they feel sad or have bouts of negative emotions or after a heartbreak.
This change in eating habit could be both — eating more food than normal or eating less food due to a loss of appetite.
This particular depression red flag can be a bit hard to notice early on, except one is very observant, close to and spends a lot of tie with the person going through this phase.
Poor eating habits and depression tend to go hand-in-hand. According to experts, depression can lead to anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorders.
#Flag 2: Wanting To Be Alone More Than Normal
Being alone once in a while is normal, harmless activity. However, if you constantly and consistently feel a need to be alone and all by yourself, you may be heading down the depressing slope.
For some people, they gradually lose interest in the things and activities that they previously found pleasurable and exciting —things like sex, hanging out with friends and colleagues, playing golf, etc.
Take, for instance, you are one who likes to work out. You visit the gym regularly and everyone at the gym knows you by name. And then, all of a sudden you decide to just put a stop to it. You decide you’d rather binge watch movies at home and have some “alone time” than go to the gym for a couple of days. And then the days turn to weeks, and weeks into a month, and it goes on like that.
According to behavioral scientists, one of the biggest red flags that signal if you or a loved one is slipping into depression is a loss of interest in the regular fun activities that you would normally engage in. They also suggest that it is important to not allow oneself to become lethargic and slip down that slippery slope.
This is, perhaps one of the most critical depression red flags to watch out for in persons who begin to experience feelings of disconnect when in groups. They feign forced laughter, and smiles, as well as have a numbing feeling. All these might be early warning signals of one slipping into a depressive state.
#Flag 3: Feeling Tired and Worn-out Too Easily
We all get tired and feel worn out after a hard days work or some very stressful activity. But, if you begin to feel exhausted almost on a daily basis, nearly throughout the day, and can’t find the enthusiasm and energy for regular activities, when you haven’t really done any exhausting work you might be on the brink.
Also, if you notice that your normal sleeping pattern has changed dramatically such that you either sleep too much or sleep too little, wake up in the middle of the night, or have difficulty sleeping, it might just be another indicator that you’re slipping into depression.
People Should Not Ignore Depression Red Flags When They Show
Experts say excessive sleep is usually one of the very first signs of falling into a depressive state. Some say excessive sleep could lead to thoughts of worthlessness and self-criticism which could also make one prone to self-isolation and self-harm.
#Flag 4: Sudden Hyperactivity and Getting Easily Irritated
Some folks are naturally very hyperactive people and can go on an activity spree. But this particular depression red flag goes beyond just mere hyperactivity to irritability. Usually, they snap and get irritated easily at almost anything. They feel anxious and get panic attacks when they find that they cannot get things done after having been idle a long while.
This state of getting irritated by things and being hyperactive then snowballs into feelings of sadness and anger, which eventually let off as uncontrolled anger.
If you notice these signs creeping in, best to take measures to deal with the anxiety, irritation, and idleness, or better still consult an expert.
#Flag 5: Feeling Body Pains Without Cause
It’s normal to feel body pain after a very tedious workout session, or after lifting some very heavy weights. But, experiencing physical pains, body aches, headaches and backaches without having any real cause could be one last depression red flags.
Also, experiencing severe emotional pain over a long period of time could lead one to be in a depressive state.
Talking To Someone Can Be of Great Help Too
Getting medication for physical pain is pretty easy, however, getting help or meds for emotional pain can be almost impossible for some folks. This could then lead to a depressive state and delay treatment for the mental illness, which increases the risk of the condition becoming worse as time goes on.
If you feel physical pain, persistent headaches, or even digestive problems that seem to defy basic treatment, you might need to seek help with an expert.
Importantly, it makes sense to watch out for these signs and depression red flags in yourself as well as loved ones from time to time, to ensure that everyone stays mentally, physically and emotionally healthy.