Mental Health

7 Easy Ways To Spot Someone With Depression

Is it sadness or something more?

Amy Sandhu
Writers’ Blokke
Published in
4 min readMar 6, 2021

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Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Sure, everyone gets sad once in a while but when do you know it’s something more? How do you know that someone is emotionally in pain? Some signs of depression are as follows:

1. Sleep problems

This is one that mostly affects emotionally distressed individuals. Do you notice yourself or someone you know dealing with lack of sleep or oversleep? Ask them if everything’s okay. If doctors can’t link your sleep problems to a physical problem, it’s most likely psychological.

2. Physical problems

Depression brings on a lot of physical symptoms such as headaches, migraines, digestive issues, neurological issues, skeletal issues, etc. In most cases, we convince ourselves that a good workout can sort out all the symptoms. But if you and your doctors aren’t able to find a solution to your problem, the reason may be that your mind is in distress. Try clearing out your mind by taking a vacation/staycation or just a long relaxing trip.

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3. Fatigue

We all have lazy days or just feel tired at a certain time. In my opinion, a certain symptom of depression is fatigue all day every day. Imagine waking up feeling tired or feeling tired even though you have not done any chores/work. “When the body cannot handle emotional overload, it simply begins to shut down. And that is often manifested by a sense of extreme tiredness and fatigue,” says Kalayjian.

4. Memory Problems

When the mind becomes too over-loaded, there isn’t much space for new memories. Often, depressed people have a foggy memory or difficulty recalling something. Depression is associated with short-term memory loss. It doesn’t affect other types of memory, such as long-term memory and procedural memory, which controls motor skills. A study showed that depressed people had difficulty distinguishing between similar items.

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5. Isolation/social withdrawal

This is a very common symptom of depression. Someone dealing with depression can isolate themselves for various reasons including poor self-esteem, being afraid of judgment, not feeling good enough, etc. Jacob Durn writes about his struggle with isolation in The Mighty. I find it hard to explain because in times like this, my coping mechanism is huddling under my duvet and watching films or listening to music.

6. Anger Problems

Anger is normal. But sometimes we see someone getting so worked up about something minor. Pay attention to reckless behaviors such as punching or breaking objects, getting violent, hitting themselves, etc. Also, look for physical symptoms such as redness, tingling, rapid heartbeat, etc. A person who struggles to control their anger can often misunderstand constructive criticism as a challenge to their authority, and this can then trigger confrontational behaviour.

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7. Suicidal thoughts/plans

This is the most dangerous symptom of depression. A suicidal person rarely tells you directly of how they’re feeling. They can put on a fake happy face for you and pretend everything’s fine. However, you should carefully look for signs. If their conversations usually revolve around killing or suffering, take action. If they draw, it will most likely be dark-colored drawings or drawings showing death.

These were some of the signs and symptoms of depression. Of course, there are more but these were some from my own struggle with suicide and depression. I hope they will help you or a loved one.

It’s a known fact that depressed individuals walk around with a psychological mask. They hide their real self and emotions behind a fake smile and happiness. Please pay attention to your loved ones. Most times a depressed individual just needs a genuine heart and someone to ask “Tell me what’s going on”.

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Amy Sandhu
Writers’ Blokke

BA in Psychology. I write stories to inspire others to be happy.