Depression is an extremely tricky animal. The reason I say that, is because just when things are beginning to level out, there is always still a risk of a depression relapse.
For those who do not have depression, let me explain. When you have depression, it can either be acute depression, which comes and then goes, or you can have chronic (clinical) depression, which tends to resurface at different points in your life. While medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes can all make depression more manageable-they do not fully cure the condition.
If you love someone with depression, it’s a good idea to watch for the following signs. If you can help them to see what is happening, it is much easier to help combat the relapse head-on.
1. Isolation & withdrawal.
A major indicator of a depression relapse is isolation and withdrawal. If you notice that you or someone you know who is battling depression suddenly is spending more time alone, or are suddenly backing out of plans, not answering texts, and avoiding others altogether, it’s likely a relapse.
2. Overwhelming feelings of sadness.
As someone who has suffered from depression for quite some time, this is typically the first sign for me. It will seem as though all of the light has been drained from the room and all of a sudden, you are no longer thriving but instead, just getting by.
3. Difficulty concentrating.
When someone becomes depressed, it can be jarring. Oftentimes, it can cause you to get stuck in your mind, which makes concentrating very difficult. Most people don’t realize this is a symptom, but you have to remember, that depression comes in and hijacks your brain.
4. Loss of interest in activities.
If you notice someone who always loves to be up and about, putting time and effort into their favorite hobbies and activities who suddenly doesn’t seem as though they are interested anymore, this is a likely indicator of depression relapse. A lot of times, this will follow after a period of high motivation, which can make that dip downward that much harder.
5. Sleep disruptions.
Sleep disruptions are typical with depressive relapses. However, the thing about this is, sleep disruptions look different for different people. Some, like myself, will sleep much longer during an episode, while others may struggle to sleep much at all.
It is typical for someone relapsing to feel worthless, to be self-loathing, and to feel bad about themselves. While we all do this from time to time- this will be much more consistent.
7. General negative thinking patterns.
Pay attention to how the depressed person talks for cues of negativity. If they suddenly seem to be more oriented to talking about negativity, versus their normal selves, they are likely making a dark turn.
A lot of times we think of depression as a disorder that just affects the mind. It’s important to remember that depression is a physical illness as well because it affects the central nervous system and the physical brain. Fatigue is often a result of a constantly reeling, depressive mind.
9. Loss of motivation.
One symptom that typically is universal for those dealing with depression is a loss of motivation. It is quite common for someone to feel less motivated to do normal mundane tasks when they are entering a depressive relapse.