You’ve got to make a safety poster for Kayla’s kindergarten class, Jason needs new soccer shoes, the phone bill is due today, and your husband is yelling about not having any clean socks and all you want to do is crawl right back into bed and stay there for two weeks. You could be depressed.
Your girlfriend wants you to spend more time with her, she complains you drink too much, your boss is always on your case to get your production quotas up and you think that one of these days you’re just gonna tell your boss and your girlfriend to kiss off because you really don’t want to deal with either one of them anymore. You could be depressed.
You have a nice home, nice kids, a nice car, a dog, a good job, a retirement fund, and a couple of jet skis and yet, every weekend, all you do is sit in your den and play video poker on your computer. You could be depressed.
Your 15-year-old kid has started arguing quite a bit. He’s changed friends and his grades are dropping. He looks grubby and he needs a haircut. You think he’s got a very bad attitude and he was recently arrested for shoplifting. He could be depressed.
Your 8-year-old had a couple of bed wetting accidents and hasn’t been playing outside for about 2 weeks. She complains of being tired and hasn’t been very hungry lately. You saw her playing with her Barbies, making them fight and yell and punch each other. She could be depressed.
Depression can take many different forms. When adults first start to go into a depression, they may notice it. They may even say they feel sort of depressed. However, many people will just ignore the initial signs, thinking they’ll just get over it or that it will just go away. Sometimes that is true, but the tricky part about depression is that if it doesn’t just go away or work itself out, it gets worse and when it is worse, most people have a really difficult time recognizing how bad off they have actually become. They don’t really notice how bad things have gotten and they begin to neglect important things, further contributing to the mess they are in. Then, as things get worse and worse, people can eventually get to a point of utter despair when thoughts of suicide may even come into their mind. Some people actually do try to hurt or kill themselves when they are in the clutches of a deep depression.
What can you do? 1) If you notice yourself just starting to have a little slump, tell someone. Confide in someone, reach out to someone, talk to someone. Yes, it may turn out to just be a passing mood, but if it gets worse, at least there’s someone looking out for you who can help if you get to the point where you can’t make good decisions anymore. 2) If you see someone that looks depressed, ask them how they are doing. If they seem depressed, try to help them get to some professional help. 3) If you suspect your child might be depressed, take the child to be evaluated even if the child says he is fine. Let the professional decide. 4) If you see someone else’s child that looks depressed, you may offer your assistance, but keep in mind that there is a fair chance that the parent may be depressed, too. You may need to help the parent get help first before the child will get any better.