How to Tell if a Person Is Unhappy or Depressed

We all have moments when we feel down or blue. For some people, those feelings do not go away in a few days, but stay with them for weeks, months and maybe even years. Unhappiness or depression can take many forms from major depression to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to WebMD, nearly half of the people who experience episodes of depression are never diagnosed or treated. Friends and family members can help those who are suffering get the help they need by being aware of common signs and symptoms.


    • 1

      Look for physical changes. People who are unhappy or depressed often experience changes in their appetite. Typically, this means they will lose weight, but in atypical depression, the person may gain weight. Also be aware of the person's energy level. Depression can be accompanied by a lack of energy as well as changes in sleep patterns that leave the person feeling tired. It may take the person much longer to complete everyday tasks.

    • 2

      Listen carefully to the person. When someone is unhappy or depressed, they tend to have a gloomy outlook and speak negatively. They may talk frequently about mistakes they have made and their feelings of worthlessness or guilt. In severe cases that need urgent attention, they may talk about suicide. Decision making can be a difficult process for a depressed person as they have trouble concentrating and can go back and forth on what to do.

    • 3

      Pay attention to their social habits. People who are unhappy or depressed can withdraw from their social circles and lose interest in activities they once enjoyed. When around people, they can be irritable or restless. They might be impatient and react emotionally in social situations.

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