Clue #1: Ragged nails and messy hair
Uncombed hair, smelly skin, ragged fingernails – it might look like a person is just being careless or disrespectful, but depression can also cause self-neglect. So if someone used to be clean and tidy but now they live in unhygienic surroundings or don’t eat properly it can be a clue that they’re clinically depressed.
Clue #2: Sudden anger
We often assume a depressed person is withdrawn and quiet. But sadness can sometimes surface as rage. Typically, it’s a rapid angry reaction that’s unreasonable and out of proportion. It’s happens when feelings of guilt, rejection and loss get so bottled up that they erupt as sudden anger – watch for it especially if stress as well as depression are involved.
READ MORE: 10 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health At Work So You Don’t Burn Out
Clue #3: Working way too much
Faced with intense dark feelings, some people try to avoid these emotions. They might sleep too much, take drugs, or drink too much, but some bury themselves in work. The problem with this symptom is that we often perceive working long hours as being ambitious or trying to provide for a family. So look for other clues: Does this behaviour typically seem more like a compulsion? Perhaps he’s clearly exhausted yet he’s up every night trying to finish that report? Or she escapes into her email inbox the second you try to talk to her about her worries.
READ MORE: 57% Of Singaporeans Feel Guilty For Taking Breaks — Here’s Why You Shouldn’t
Clue #4: Forgetting ordinary tasks
Depression can make it very hard to concentrate – depressed people tend to forget all kinds of weird things, from leaving their keys in the fridge to leaving the milk out in the hall again. Or they may often forget appointments or constantly be late.
Forgetting things is a tricky depression symptom to spot because stress can also make people forgetful – it’s like the brain is just too “full” with worry to remember much. So look for other clues as well, like….
Clue #5: Not being able to make even small decisions
Depression can go hand-in-hand with hopelessness. People get the idea that no matter what they do, it will all go wrong. Victims of depression get wrapped up in thoughts of the bad things to come, that they become unable to make even a tiny decision.
Shall I get out of bed? What to have for breakfast? What shall I wear?… it’s all too much. They become apathetic and almost paralysed by indecision. You can go out to work and come back hours later… and they’re still in bed.
Clue #6: Too much partying
Dancing on the tables can just be high spirits, but it can also be a form of distraction. If you don’t want to face your dark feelings or you’re frightened of feeling “numb”, it’s tempting to distract yourself by drinking too much or burying yourself in frantic activity. But instead of going out feeling like fun, it feels like desperation, and there’s an undercurrent of hopelessness.
Clue #7: Physical aches and pains
While depression is a psychological condition, it can sometimes manifest in a person’s physical body too as aches and pains. These red flags can range from backaches and headaches to digestive issues and stomach cramps. So don’t be too quick to dismiss your loved one’s complains of physical pain, as they could be rooted in mental distress.