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The Sound of Silence: Non-Verbal Cues that Your Loved One is Depressed

Depression is a common mental health disorder, affecting over 260 million people worldwide. Unlike sadness caused by life's difficult moments, depression is a lingering condition that can cause hopelessness, anger, and loss of all enjoyment. Depression can disrupt every aspect of a person's life, harming relationships and careers. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

People suffering from depression often will not speak about their feelings. But you can recognize the warning signs in their behavior. Learning the non-verbal cues of depression can help you recognize it in a friend or family member and allow you to intervene.

Below are ten of the most common non-verbal signs of depression. Although none of these alone signals depression, a combination of these cues may indicate your loved one is depressed and needs help.

Changes in Sleep Patterns

Depression frequently causes sleep patterns to change. A depressed person may sleep significantly more than usual, sometimes during the day and night. However, unusual difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep might also be a sign of depression. Depressed people rarely have a "normal" eight hours of sleep each night.

Changes in Eating Habits