Major depressive disorders are something that caring conversations by friends or family or even experienced counselling by itself , cannot fix. Sometimes medication is required and essential in unison with counselling.
There can be seasons or times in life where a sadness or grief impacts all of us personally. We live in a broken world. And we need to accept that fact. Sad and chaotic things will happen.
Sometimes life is just about the sadness of situational depression and the normal grief or sad stuff of life. Life is not always ugly. But it can be for a season and we need to accept that and be as reasonable and responsible as we can in the circumstances and lift the load that life gives us.
However sometimes it can be a deep vegetative depression. I will suggest a rule of thumb. If the length of time of sadness extends longer than two or three weeks and the sadness has been the satelliting subject in the mind, every waking hour , you can be sure that something chemical has probably seeped deep. Consequently counter chemical measures are required.
The following significant behaviours are associated with depression and give clear clues that something significant and harmful is taking root psychologically in a persons life.
Individuals are different but many will exhibit a sorrow and sadness and have weeping episodes. Its perhaps the most obvious sign of something hurtful going on.
I will often start at a simple level and ask people about their sleeping habits and about their appetite. With depression individuals may exhibit appetite extremes. They may be eating too much food, especially comfort foods and unhealthy calorie rich or sugary food. Or have no appetite whatsoever.
Sleep patterns can be very disturbed as well. Individuals may find they cant sleep at all and find themselves over stimulated and ruminating. Alternatively many want to sleep all the time. People who would normally go to bed at 10pm will prepare for bed at say 6pm or 7 pm . That sleep is broken and they wake numerous times in the night and very early in the morning.
Depressed people cannot concentrate or focus even on simple short term tasks. They seem to be preoccupied with remote problems rather than matters at hand. You begin to be concerned that they seem to satellite around the same issues habitually. I will also ask if people sit and ruminate and for how long they just sit and think. Rumination can go for hours.
Particularly worrying is when individuals start talking of life as not being worth living or its hopelessness or lack of purpose. Others may just be irritable or quick to anger or be impatient.
Parallel with this can be anesthetizing behaviours such as drinking or misusing substances too much or watching social media and its useless content in unhealthy and obsessive ways.
Changes in personality are another significant indicator that something deep is happening inside a person. These changes can be different for men and women. It also shows itself differently in each person. Family observes it first. Friends notice it soon afterwards, and work colleagues not too soon after that.
These tell tale signs are dramatic. They are the jagged surface of the ice berg that we see. There is the deeper and larger iceberg under the surface which points to some biological changes or dynamics that will need chemical assistance in relationship with therapeutic input. So a referral to a GP matters along with some regular counselling from an experienced counsellor.