How to Help Severe Depression
When someone is in the grip of depression they may not even be aware of how serious their condition has become. More often than not it is a loved one who becomes alarmed at the increasing severity of the individual’s depression symptoms who reaches out to get them help. There is a distinct difference between feeling down in the dumps for a short period of time and a major depressive episode. Understanding the signs of severe depression can alert you to the urgency of this serious disorder so you can obtain treatment for yourself of your loved one.
8 Signs of Severe Depression Not to Ignore
- Changes in Appetite and Weight. When someone is suffering from major depressive disorder there will usually be an unintended change in their weight. Some may experience an increased appetite and eat more as a coping mechanism and experience weight gain. Others may become so depressed that they have no desire to feed themselves or care about their health, leading to weight loss. In fact, someone who is severely depressed may not be able to even swallow food.
- Loss of Interest in Life. One of the signs of severe depression is the individual’s sudden loss of interest in things they once enjoyed. Mired in the darkness of depression, these individuals have no desire to attend social events, to partake in activities or hobbies, or to socialize at all. This can eventually include going to work, where they lose the ability to hide the signs of their depression and don’t want to feel forced to interact with coworkers.
- Sleep Disturbances. Severe depression can cause the individual to want to sleep excessively (hypersomnia). In fact, depression is the major cause of hypersomnia, according to a study published in Bio Med Central. Major depression can cause an inability to stay asleep (insomnia), with fragmented sleep patterns and deep sleep alluding them.
- Expressing Hopelessness. A cluster of negative emotions and thoughts begin to gather critical mass in major depressive disorder, such as hopelessness, despair, worthlessness, guilt, helplessness, and self-loathing. The individual becomes fixated on seeing themselves in a negative light and blaming themselves for perceived faults and flaws. As these thoughts become more pervasive, the threat of self-harm increases as a reflection of low self image.
- Excessive Fatigue. A pronounced loss of energy is one of the common signs of severe depression. The individual suffering literally feels so exhausted they can barely function. Even daily hygiene or fixing meals becomes too difficult, and the individual may spend the majority of time in bed due to being physically drained.
- Anger or Irritability. This shows up more in depressed men, although depressed women can also exhibit mood swings and irritability. The anger can emanate from feelings of frustration, the result of feeling out of control and unable to shake the depression. People with major depression can be easily annoyed and even violent.
- Increased Substance Use. Individuals with major depression may begin to self-medicate through the use of alcohol or drugs. This form of substance abuse is a reaction to feelings of despair and hopelessness, and wanting to numb the emotional pain they are experiencing. There is a real danger that addiction can form, leading to a dual diagnosis of major depressive disorder and coexisting substance use disorder.
- Suicidal Ideation or Suicide Attempts. If an individual who is struggling with deepening depression begins to obsess about death, or say things such as their loved ones would be better off without them, pay attention and get them help. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 90% of the individuals who have committed suicide had an underlying mental health disorder, usually depression or bipolar disorder.
Seeking Help for Severe and Chronic Depression
The Treatment Specialist will connect you with a treatment center that will provide effective depression treatment program options, offering a free insurance check and verification. Effective treatment may include medication and residential treatment to help someone stabilize in a safe and healing environment. If you believe that you or your loved one is exhibiting the signs of chronic recurrent and severe depression, do not hesitate to get help now. Call a Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911.