About 7% of adults in the United States have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, according to a 2017 national survey. That’s about 17.3 million people.

With that many people experiencing depression, chances are that someone you know and love is living with the condition right now. At LifeStance Health in Houston, Friendswood, and Katy, Texas, our expert providers offer compassionate, personalized treatment for those suffering from depression.

Here are our recommendations on spotting the warning signs of depression in a loved one. Know that there is help available!

What is depression?

It’s normal to occasionally feel sad or down sometimes. But if hopelessness and despair appear to be overwhelming, cause physical problems, and don’t show any signs of lifting in your loved one, he or she may be experiencing depression.

Depression is a severe condition that results from neurological dysfunction and chemical imbalance. It can also be triggered by external factors, such as neglect or abuse.

Depression does more than just cause sad feelings. It can change how you think and feel, how you go about your daily life, and how you relate to others. Even the smallest daily tasks can feel overwhelming.

If left untreated, it can become a serious health problem and can even lead to thoughts of suicide. To prevent depression from leading to even more serious issues, here are a few warning signs to look out for in your loved one:

Warning signs of depression

Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness – They’ll say that everything seems awful, and nothing you say or do makes any difference because it seems like nothing will ever get better.

Changes in appetite or weight – They might have sudden, unexplained weight gain or loss, or very little interest in eating.

Fatigue – They might feel an extreme loss of energy, sluggishness, and being physically drained most of the time. Even small tasks take a long time to complete.

Changes in sleeping habits – They could either wake up in the early morning and can’t go back to sleep or oversleep for hours.

Trouble concentrating – They have difficulty focusing on one thing, concentrating, and making decisions.

Irritability – They feel agitated and restless. Everything gets on their nerves and their temper and tolerance are short.

Loss of interest – Nothing is interesting or fun anymore, including hobbies, friends, sex, or anything that once held their interest.

Suicidal thoughts – If someone begins to think about suicide and verbalize their thoughts, or even makes a suicide attempt, seek professional help for them immediately.

What to do

If someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, they may have depression. One of the best things you can do for them is to help them get treated.

Here at LifeStance Health, our caring providers will do a comprehensive assessment to diagnose depression, then develop a personalized treatment plan for your loved one. This could include a combination of medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and more.

Contact any of our Texas locations today to set up an initial consultation and get your loved one the help he or she needs.