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13 Warning Signs Depression is Getting Worse

By HERWriter
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13 Signs Depression is Worse, 8 Risk Factors for Suicide B-D-S/PhotoSpin

It was a shock and tragedy for comedy lovers when Robin Williams died on Monday, August 11, 2014. What was even more devastating was that he took his own life as an alleged result of his battle with depression and potentially a substance abuse disorder.

Despite this horrible set of circumstances, we may still find a silver lining. There is no better time to discuss the struggles of depression, suicide prevention and red flags to watch out for before it’s too late.

This plethora of information could help save future lives.

When a woman already has depression, it’s easy for friends and loved ones to acknowledge that fact and assume it won’t get any worse. That is unfortunately not true.

Depression can change in severity, just like any mental illness or medical condition. So it’s important to keep an eye especially on loved ones who are currently suffering from a mental illness. It could mean the difference between that person getting help and treatment, or potentially attempting suicide if life becomes unbearable.

There are certain risk factors and signs that a depressed woman may attempt suicide.

Ramani Durvasula, a licensed clinical psychologist and author of “You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life,” cautioned via email that although not every suicidal woman shares her thoughts with others, it is a major warning sign if a woman says out loud that she is contemplating suicide.

Here are eight potential risk factors for suicide (especially when noticed in a person who has a deepening depression):

1) “Talking about giving up”

2) “Putting her affairs into order”

3) “Alluding to harming herself”

4) Family history

5) “Past history of attempts”

6) Access to weapons, medication or drugs that could end her life

7) “Living alone and/or lack of social supports with whom she has regular contact”

8) History of mental illness

Durvasula also gave seven warning signs that depression is getting worse:

1) “The sad mood will get 'sadder,' and this may manifest by greater apathy (literally doesn't want or feel like she is able to do the things she needs or wants to do).”

2) “Greater social withdrawal.”

3) “Inability to do the things that she needs to do. That can result in being unable to maintain a job or negatively impact her relationship or her parenting.”

4) “Increased distractibility.”

5) “Sleeping more.”

6) “Often eating less.”

7) “Thoughts of worthlessness that are expressed more often, feelings of guilt, and increased expressions of hopelessness and helplessness.”

Durvasula wants to make it clear that most people with depression don’t commit suicide, but if they don’t get the help they need it could be more difficult to prevent this tragedy.

“I actually think in the so- called age of ‘connection’ of social media and other nonsense, we have never been more disconnected,” she said. “We need to pay attention to the people around us. It is the only way we can notice changes in patterns, in how they relate and how they behave.”

“Pay attention to those close to you and look for changes, such as changes in energy, social interaction, work behavior, self-care, and don't be shy to ask,” she added.

Stacey Rosenfeld, a clinical psychologist and author of “Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder? Challenging Our Nation’s Fixation with Food and Weight,” shared six more red flags:

1) “Increased sadness or numbness”

2) “Avoidance of activity”

3) “Isolation”

4) “Lack of enjoyment in anything”

5) “Increased lethargy, including difficulty getting out of bed”

6) “Negative, pessimistic thinking indicative of hopelessness”

Rosenfeld said that even though most people with depression don’t commit suicide, it’s better to be overly cautious and concerned than to be silent if you notice changes or warning signs in a loved one. Always offer your help in these situations, including driving her to an appointment with a therapist.

“While some may get offended, many may appreciate the care and concern expressed by a loved one if it's expressed in a helpful, nonjudgmental way,” she said.

It’s also important to realize that treatment does take time to be effective. It’s not always instantaneous, especially when it comes to finding the right medication.

If you or someone you know is suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK), or if you can’t remember that in a crisis, just call 911.


Durvasula, Ramani. Email interview. August 12, 2014.

Rosenfeld, Stacey. Email interview. August 13, 2014.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Web. August 14, 2014.

Reviewed August 15, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment11 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

and like ever since then ive been wanting to be alone but like i dont know what to do anymore :(

December 11, 2018 - 8:59pm
EmpowHER Guest

So I have a question. Well i got somethings to say first, So i have like this kinda small brown birthmark on my chin and its so noticeable and so people have been calling me an ugly b and ever since that i have been staying up until 1 in the morning, been having stress and thinking about suicide and ive been cutting my wrist with a knife and im only 12 and i want to do suicide but at the same time i also dont want to :( and i honestly dont know what to do with my life anymore :( like and ive talked to my teachers but they dont care and im to the point of wanting to be dead

December 11, 2018 - 8:57pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hello Anon

Your life is worth far more than a birth mark. Ending your life would end your future and hurt so many around you. People can be very cruel, that is true. You have to get through it. Do you have someone to talk to besides teachers? A parent or trusted adult? There is help out there. 

There is also a hotline to use -  1-800-273-8255 where you can get help. It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please give them a call. 



December 12, 2018 - 5:49am
EmpowHER Guest

I found this site because I'm at the point where I just can't take it anymore. The people on this Earth are all just cruel and heartless, it seems. Everything feels like it's my fault, and my parents don't make it much better. My mother knows I have depression, but all she seems to do is make it worse. Looking back at myself when I was young, it surprises me how I could get up and act as if the world was all sunshine and rainbows. Everyone at school jokes about depression, not knowing that there's someone struggling with it right behind them. People always say, "You can't be sad, there's people who have it worse than you." Really, it's like saying you can't be happy because others have it better. But whenever I'd say that, they would just not care. I literally have no one who actually cares. I can't see myself going anywhere in life, I just don't have a purpose. All I do is waste everyone else's oxygen. I don't fit in with the few people I talk to at school, and my best friend has stopped talking to me because she found other friends. I've tried cutting, and it helped for a while, but now I've fallen deeper. And I know I won't ever be happy again, so I've decided I want to end it. Everyone says that people who speak about ending their lives don't actually do it, well- I guess I'm going to prove them wrong.

March 16, 2017 - 1:44pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Please don't. We love you! You are an amazing, strong, person! I'm struggling with the same things, but helping people with this is what keeps me alive. So please! Stay with us. You are fucking amazing!

April 9, 2018 - 8:12am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Dont do that bro, i am also suffering for by the same and i think that it would have been better if world would have ended but there is you life keep going it smooth, god will surely send someone who will understand us

November 14, 2017 - 2:25am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I pray that you are okay and that God moves in your life to heal your depression. If you feel no one else cares, know that I do.

October 20, 2017 - 1:51am
EmpowHER Guest

I am at a point of giving up.

April 23, 2016 - 1:31pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I feel the same way. Please don't give up. Maybe we can get through this together.

April 25, 2016 - 1:16am
EmpowHER Guest

I don't recall my log in. My husband took his life in 2012. He was high functioning autistic but it was never diagnosed and since this was a marriage later in our lives, it wasn't as noticeable as it may have been when he was much younger. Much has happened in my life since his death but everything is still tied to him because there is so much to get through before I can even experience/live my life in a more positive manner. Having a support system would be nice but I don't have too much in that arena. I have been fortunate to literally Push myself into taking a class that I have not been able to utilize the information yet due to my stress and feeling like I'm just coming out from post traumatic stress, but the good thing of the class besides the information is that I did meet two women with whom I sometimes communicate and we do get together sometimes. That connection has been heavenly sent and much appreciated. I've learned much about autism and now I am learning about shock and grief. For me, it is so emotional and yet I know but it's difficult to understand that to my late husband, his life and death (due to the autism) could have been a "to do" check list for the day. My mind has done all the questioning: I should have, would have, could have, or could I, or was it, or was it not, and dozens more. May all those who suffer loss, find peace and love.

August 16, 2014 - 12:28am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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