Information about clinical depression often list symptoms like persistent sadness, irritability, loss of interest, and so on as signs that someone may…

Information about clinical depression often list symptoms like persistent sadness, irritability, loss of interest, and so on as signs that someone may be suffering from depression. Mental health professionals often will often look at such symptoms and also how their patients are functioning. In my opinion, the problem with looking at the level at which someone who suffers from depression functions in their daily life is that you can basically “fake it”, or hide what you know are symptoms. Though I acknowledge that it’s often difficult to discern between mental illness and what’s considered normal, I really believe that mental health professionals should take this into consideration more often. There are countless stories about suicides in which the person who committed suicide was described as being cheerful or even just “fine” before they went through with it. It should be at least a little bit off-putting when someone you care about suddenly seems cheerful after noticeably being depressed. Though obviously we can’t possibly know everything about someone, if you know someone well enough chances are you can probably intuit if they’re not as “fine” or not doing as well as they say. I guess what I’m saying is that if we know that someone has been clinically depressed that we should look beyond the symptoms and signs medical information sources usually list. A person’s body language can say a lot about how they’re really feeling, for example. Someone who verbally says they’re doing all right might not be conveying that with their facial expression, or something similar to that. – Allyson

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