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Sometimes, I am reminded, all cl ...

Posted Oct 30 2008 6:20pm

Sometimes, I am reminded, all clues can lead to a seemingly obvious conclusion, and that conclusion can be quite wrong.

Example:

Signs of depression can include:

  • fatigue
  • changes in sleep patterns and habits
  • changes in eating habits
  • lack of interest in normal activities
  • withdrawal from social situations

If you observed these symptoms in someone about whom you care, you might be alarmed, and your alarm could be warranted.

But hold off on making assumptions…there’s more to consider here.

  • Could the symptoms and behaviors be related to other health concerns, including but not limited to: Cold, flu, allergies, lack of sleep or physical injuries?
  • Could the items of concern be related to lifestyle changes or anomalies, like a new job, a move, the return from a recent vacation, or the aftermath of a major life event?
  • Has your love one experienced a romantic break-up, loss of pet or loved one, or other situational trauma in the very recent past?

Each of these stressors can cause a temporary shift in mood or activity that will self-correct in a relatively short time.

If, however, two or more weeks pass and the moods, behaviors, and symptoms persist or worsen, further medical examination may be in order.

And of course, if suicidal ideation, a focus on death, or sense of uselessness or hopelessness combines with the typical symptoms of depression, seek medical attention immediately.

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