“Depression is a common mood disorder that can present in varying forms; however, is typically characterized as including persistent sadness, hopelessness, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt,” Allison Forti, Ph.D., LCMHC, NCC, an associate teaching professor and associate director of the Department of Counseling Online Programs at Wake Forest University, tells mbg. “People with depression may experience a loss of interest in hobbies or activities they once enjoyed, may want to sleep more or less than usual, may lose their appetite or eat more than is typical for them, and may have trouble making decisions or concentrating. In some cases of depression, people may start to think more about death and suicide.”
Some people can be chronically depressed, and others can be momentarily depressed. Depression can present in many ways, and your loved one may not have all of the signs or symptoms. According to Forti, you can look for observable changes in their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and physical presentation.
“You may notice that your loved one, who was once a social butterfly, now cancels plans to meet for dinner, book club, or other events. They may start to wear the same clothes multiple days in a row, not groom as often, or stop wearing make-up,” she explains. “Your loved one may speak slower and seem distracted or irritable. They may stop reaching out to you, calling, or wanting to spend time together.”