The most serious depression warning sign is that of recurring thoughts of death. However there are multiple signs of depression to look for: from loss of pleasure, changes in appetite and feelings of low self worth to difficulty concentrating, changes in sleep patterns, changes in physical and mental activity as well as recurring thoughts of wanting to die.
What if the person is suicidal?
Since the primary sign of depression is feelings of hopelessness, thoughts of wanting to die are not uncommon in a depressed person. However, suicidal thoughts are a serious depression warning sign and should not be minimized.
Find out whether the depressed person has a plan or an intent to harm themselves. A plan with intent is very different than fleeting thoughts of wanting to be dead, although both are indicators of a serious depression warning sign. If you or your loved one indicates they have a plan or strong intentions to harm themselves take action immediately!
Get help immediately
Call a mental health professional that you have been referred to by a reliable source, check your phone book for community mental health services, or call a suicide prevention hotline. In Brevard County, Florida that number is 211 or 321-632-6688. Also, Circles of Care in Melbourne provides emergency services and evaluations. Their number is 722-5257. If the threat is imminent, call 911.
If talking to someone right now would be helpful and you live in the United States phone 1-800-suicide (1-800-784-2433).
If you live in another country, log on to www.suicide-helplines.org.
Get depression help
If you or a loved one is experiencing a serious depression warning sign or other depression warning signs please seek help. Don’t wait until your level of functioning is severely impaired. Get depression treatment now! One of the biggest reasons people do not seek help is because of the shame they feel concerning the idea of having a mental illness. The reality is that our minds are vulnerable to illness just like our bodies. There is no shame in developing the flu or some other medical condition, so why is there with the mind?
Those who avoid seeking help because of the shame they feel only languish longer like the Bible story of the cripple at the pool of Bethesda. He needed help, but he was unwilling to accept any personal responsibility for helping himself.
How Counseling Can Help
A counselor can help a person gain perspective about their illness, resolve problems that may be contributing to the depression warning sign and assist the person in developing coping skills to manage the signs of depression.
However, in addition to counseling, various supplementations known to improve moods may also be a treatment option. You can discuss this with your counselor, who can then refer you to an appropriate health care practitioner