The worst part about depression is that it is often linked to high rates of suicide — the highest cause of death for people aged 15-49 in the developed world. Let’s talk about the signs.

You’ve lost interest in the things you enjoy

Depression can rob you of the things you love, making you withdrawing from the very activities you once looked forward to — sports, socializing with friends, hobbies, etc.

Your outlook on life has done a 180

Having a hopeless or helpless outlook on life is the most common symptom of depression. Associated feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, or inappropriate guilt may be riding shotgun. You vocalize thoughts like “It’s all my fault,” and “What’s the point?”

Your topics of conversation have turned morbid

Suicides rarely come without the symptoms that show up beforehand. Depressed people will often talk about it. If you’re in the company of a good friend who has flipped the morbid switch to “on” and is now talking about death and dying, stay close and monitor him. He may be on the doorstep of a suicide attempt.

Your emotions are all over the place

One moment, you’re feeling irritable and going off on someone in a full display of anger. The next, you’re crying. Depression can swing your moods uncontrollably.

You feel fatigue and don’t sleep (or sleep too much)

Depression strips you of your energy and makes you feel lethargic. You stop doing things you enjoy because you feel exhausted, and begin sleeping excessively, or not sleeping at all (insomnia).

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If depression has crept in, don’t despair. With professional help and a strong support system of loving family and friends, you can overcome it.

Here’s what you can do:

Practice mindfulness

Exercise daily. Fifteen minutes of cardio is all it takes.
Rediscover the activities and hobbies that bring you peace, joy, and vitality.
Lean on your faith, or something greater than you.
Journal your feelings daily to help release those negative emotions.

Express gratitude. Take one-to-two minutes every day to call or email someone and express gratitude about something

Don’t internalize your feelings. Be totally present with them.

Do not isolate yourself–find community and support.

Please sleep. Don’t set the alarm. Just sleep until you wake up.

Did you find these tips helpful?

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