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What are the signs that someone may be depressed?

Depression signs and symptoms are not the same for everyone, but there are some common behaviours that people with depression share.


“Depression signs and symptoms are not the same for everyone.”


Learn the common signs and symptoms of depression and help your friend or family member get the support they need.


Understanding depression

Depression is not just feeling sad or down from time to time – it’s a serious mental health condition that needs treatment and support. If left untreated, depression can get worse over time and severely impact a person’s quality of life. That’s why early intervention is necessary.

Depression looks and feels different for everyone. Some people have just a few signs, while others have many. And depression often co-exists with other mental health issues like anxiety or addiction.

Depression can be devastating for the person with the condition as well as friends and family members. Luckily, there are various treatment options that can help treat depression symptoms and improve the quality of life for everyone affected.


Common signs and symptoms of depression

Health professionals typically diagnose depression through an examination and questionnaires covering a person’s thoughts, feelings and lifestyle habits.

The common signs and symptoms that healthcare professionals look for to diagnose depression include the following:

  • Feelings of sadness, including feeling blue or down in the dumps
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Loss of interest in socialising
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in weight
  • Sleeping too little
  • Sleeping too much
  • Restlessness
  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of energy
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Feeling worthless, inferior or like a failure
  • Poor concentration
  • Suicidal thoughts.

If someone you know has several signs in the above list, they may be at risk of or already have depression. Try to encourage the person to see a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. It may not be easy but remember that intervening as soon as you notice symptoms can help to avoid serious issues later.

It’s essential to take immediate action if your friend or family member is having suicidal thoughts. Speak to a healthcare professional or phone SuicideLine Victoria on 1300 651 251 for support and advice. If a person’s suicide risk is high, they may need to see a mental health specialist or visit the nearest hospital’s emergency department. It is possible to help someone with suicidal thoughts recover.


Treatment options for depression

When someone is diagnosed with depression, a healthcare professional may recommend a range of treatment options including:

  • Psychological support, counselling
  • Behavioural therapies, including cognitive behaviour therapy and mindfulness.

A healthcare professional will help determine the best treatment option. The healthcare professional will develop a personalised plan that may include psychological support, self-help strategies, and medication. People with depression often need to try a few different options before finding an approach that works for them.

Remember: By being aware of the signs and symptoms of depression, you can help your friend or family member get the support they need.


Where to get help for depression

Contact your GP, healthcare professional or phone SuicideLine Victoria on 1300 651 251.

SuicideLine Victoria is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service offering professional support to people at risk of suicide, people concerned about someone else’s risk of suicide, and people bereaved by suicide. The service also helps people with emotional and mental health issues.

Call us on 1300 651 251 or access free video and online counselling.

If it is an emergency, please call 000.