Signs Of Depression

What to look for and how to help


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Understanding the signs of depression helps a person feel less helpless and alone.

Celeste Olivarez, Writer

 Over the years, cases of depression and suicide have increased, leaving friends and family in grief and guilt. Becoming informed in what to look out for to aid both friends and yourself can lead to the prevention of suicide. 

Some signs of depression include loss of motivation in everyday tasks, cancelling plans on friends, not enjoying hobbies once liked, self-harm, and talking about death or suicide.

When loss of motivation starts to interfere with daily activities in the form of not showering or keeping clean, a struggle of getting up in the morning, and avoiding talking to people, it could mean one may have difficulties struggling with an issue in their life. Spotting this in someone does not necessarily mean they are in a depressed state, but it can reveal a big indication that someone needs help. If one does happen to spot this in a friend or family member, they should confront them in a non-judgmental manner and offer their support. Offering help and alternatives to deter harmful thinking helps because it causes a detrimental effect on one’s health.  

Similarly, in order to spot depression in friends, one can notice a change in one’s behavior by not wanting to go out anymore and socialize. This indicates that going out and socializing requires a lot of work for people in the wrong state of mind as they may feel exhausted and strained from the effort. Although they may not want to go out, it would help if one included them in everything to feel connected in relationships with people. This could prevent them from feeling alone during a crisis. 

As people start to depart from socialization, they may disengage from their hobbies they once enjoyed. This leads to a deprivation of enjoyment which affects mental health. An example to look out for includes the loss of interest in beloved hobbies. Some hobbies may consist of painting, singing, dancing, or playing sports. They may feel that their activities lack enjoyment and will not help them feel better. To support a friend during this, understanding and listening to them allows them to feel heard and not alone. Often, giving advice does not help as it may make things worse. 

While not all of these signs completely determine whether or not someone has depression, talking about self-harm indicates the possibility of suicide. This should be taken seriously. Do not act shocked as a response to someone asking for help. Instead, listen and be patient.

 Know that so many people experience depression and the importance of learning how to spot it can change one’s life. No one chooses to have it. Anyone with questions or concerns can make use of these resources: 


Suicide Hotline: 800-273-8255 

Depression Is Not A Choice