Andrew Jacob Memorial Foundation

Andrew Jacob Memorial Foundation -


What is depression?

Depression is a serious medical condition which affects an individual’s thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and sense of well-being. It is not a sign of weakness and it is not a temporary change in emotional state. Depression is most often exhibited as prolonged, excessive sadness but it has many other accompanying symptoms which persist for most of the day, almost every day for at least two consecutive weeks.

Possible Signs & Symptoms

  • Sadness and/or irritability - persistent feelings of extreme sadness and/or irritability, frequently tearful or unable to cry
  • Lack of enjoyment – lack/loss of pleasure in work, activities, or relationships that used to be pleasurable
  • Helplessness/hopelessness – feelings of despair with no possible resolution
  • Worthlessness/guilt – feelings of rejection, low self-esteem/self-worth, inappropriate guilt
  • Restlessness/anxiousness – lack of rest, inability to relax
  • Lethargy – lack of energy and enthusiasm, fatigue
  • Poor concentration – difficulty focusing and decision making
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia - sleeping too little or too much
  • Eating difficulties – eating too little or too much
  • Change in weight – weight loss, weight gain or constant fluctuation
  • Physical pain - unexplained aches and pain
  • Suicidal thoughts – thinking about death or harming oneself

How to Help

Many individuals suffering from depression are suffering in silence due to shame caused by stigma. If you suspect that someone you know may be suffering from depression:

  • Recognize the signs
  • Be emotionally and physically supportive
  • Acknowledge the individual’s feelings without minimizing them
  • Don’t tell the individual what to do and don’t try to solve his/her problem
  • Be a good listener – you don’t need the ‘right’ words, just a listening ear
  • Let the individual know you care and ask what you can do to help
  • Offer to help the individual identify resources
  • Take any mention of suicide very seriously – even if the individual brings it up in a sarcastic or jokingly manner
  • If you’re worried about the individual’s safety, consider involving the mental health system or police
  • Take care of yourself in order to be supportive of someone else

If you think you may be suffering with any of the above symptoms, please reach out to someone that you trust or seek medical attention (only a doctor can diagnose depression). Depression is deceptive and it may rob you of any hope for a happy and healthy future; therefore, allow a loved one to hold onto your hope for you until you are able to find it again. You are not alone in this battle, nor are you deserving of this pain. It can get better.