As a family member or friend of someone with depression, you may have noticed some changes. They may have lost interest in things they used to enjoy, get tired very easily, or make mistakes and forget things. These symptoms are known as “cognitive symptoms” and are a common effect of depression.1
More significant difficulties at work can lead to time off, or even a change in career to something less demanding. Cognitive problems don’t just affect the person with depression, they have an impact on the people around them.
As the individual is unable to do as much at work or at home, colleagues and family members may have to take on additional tasks.
These symptoms of depression can lead to increased tension within the family, and friends and family members often find themselves dealing with a range of difficult emotions of their own.
It is important to know that these feelings are perfectly normal and not something to feel ashamed of.
Support groups are a good way to connect with other people who are caring for someone with depression. Check out the University of Michigan Depression Center’s website for tips on how you can support a friend or loved one with depression, as well as advice about looking after yourself.
Greer T et al. CNS Drugs 2010; 24(4): 267–284.