While there are different types and intensities of depression, all have similar signs. If a client is “feeling blue” it does not necessarily mean that they suffer from depression. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes multiple symptoms including:
– weight loss (from poor appetite)
– weight gain (from eating too much when sad)
– trouble with sleeping (too much or too little)
– extreme fatigue and irritability
– disinterest in family and friends
– disinterest in activities they otherwise enjoy
– disinterest in personal hygiene
– trouble concentrating
– suicidal tendencies
Ideas to keep in mind when working with clients who suffer from depression:
– too much stress can make depression worse, encourage clients to express their feelings and worries.
– depression is not a normal part of getting older.
– depression is not something a person can snap out of, it is an illness.
What to say to a person who is depressed:
– I care about you.
– I am here for you if you need anything.
– I may not know what you are going through, but I will help in any way I can.
– Do you want a hug?
What not to say to a person who is depressed:
– It’s all in your head.
– Cheer up!
– You would feel better if you smiled.
– Stop feeling sorry for yourself.