Detecting Depression

April 11, 2012 — 1,576 views  
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Everyone gets sad from time to time, but when emotions prevent people from experiencing a normal life, action needs to be taken. However, identifying depression in clients can be difficult, so it is essential that you know what to look for when it comes to this debilitating condition.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), depression can be shown in many ways, some more subtle than others. When working with a client, it is important that you pay close attention to verbal and nonverbal cues. If a person shows trouble concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, he or she could be suffering from depression. Additionally, fatigue, guilt, insomnia, restlessness and loss of interest in activities or hobbies are often indicators of a greater problem.

If you're able to catch these symptoms before they progress, you can make a lasting change in a client's life. Detecting depression can be difficult, so it is important that you approach the topic with the utmost sensitivity. A client may be embarrassed or unaware that he or she is a victim of depression, so phrase your concerns appropriately and remember to position yourself as someone who can provide help and be there for the individual through recovery and treatment.