When you hear the word, depression, the first things that come to your mind is sadness, crying spells and anything that can make you feel that the whole world is against you.
Apparently, depression is more than just that. In fact, it is a complex condition, which stems out from a traumatic event, long-term stress or even unhealthy relationship.
Whatever the cause is, one thing is for sure: depression is a treatable condition. It will take some time, but you can definitely get over this. However, many people are in denial and refuse to look into the problem. They’re just feeling sad and blue, so does it make them depressed?
Not exactly. However, there are subtle signs that can tell whether a person is battling with depression or not. To help you better, here are 10 sneaky signs a person, including you, is depressed.
1. Changes In Sleeping Patterns
Sleep patterns vary from person to person. Some can function normally, even with five hours of sleep, while there are others who need at least eight hours every night for a productive day.
However, if you noticed changes in your sleep patterns, then it can signify something. Yes, it can be depression, too.
The best way to find out is to note if there are any changes for the past few weeks in terms of sleep despite the absence of a specific trigger. If you have a hard time falling asleep, or experience broken sleep, or you wake up earlier than your alarm, then this can be a sign of depressive episode. On the other hand, sleeping too much can also be a sign of depression, especially when you also experience sad or low mood.
If it helps, jot down the time you hit the bed, and as soon as you wake up. If there are any drastic changes, well, it can be a sign.
2. Lack Of Energy Or Fatigue
Who doesn’t feel tired from time to time? With the things you have to go through everyday, it is normal to feel less energetic that makes you want to crawl in the bed as soon as you go home.
Still, experiencing fatigue alone is not necessarily a sign that you need to see a doctor. Maybe you’re just too tired and everything will get better the following day.
However, if you notice that fatigue or lack of energy happens constantly and doesn’t wish to leave your body, then it can be a sign of depression. That’s not all. If you experience fatigue with low mood and decreased interest or motivation, then that can be problematic too. Usually, this lethal combination is your body’s way of saying that you are depressed – and you just don’t know it.
3. Now You Eat Me, Now You Don’t
Any change that happens in your body is usually not a good sign. Aside from changes in your sleeping patterns, depression driven changes can also make you eat more or less, and it has nothing to do with the holidays.
You can experience two things when you are depressed. You either eat more because for you, food can make you feel better, or eat less since you don’t feel hungry but grab the chance to eat when you pass by Krispy Kreme or Mrs. Fields.
Of course, there are instances where you don’t feel like eating because of too much tiredness, or you overeat because, well, there’s an occasion. However, any changes in the eating patterns, coupled with other depression symptoms such as feeling down or losing interest in your usual activities can be a sign of a depressive episode.
4. Pain, Pain, Go Away.
Your knee bumping on wood, slipping over a banana peel lying on the floor, tripping over a rock – these little accidents will surely bring pain, although temporary. Imagine going through that kind of pain, since it never goes away.
If you experienced persistent physical pain that makes you want to scream, as if it will go away, then your body might be entering the Kingdom of Depression. Therefore, watch out for untreatable headaches, vague abdominal pain and aches that don’t seem to go away no matter how many Ibuprofen tablets you take.
Of course, persistent pain is not automatically depression, but it’s advisable to keep this in mind when going to a doctor.
5. Stay Away From Me
Many people associate depression with the feeling of sadness and crying their eyes out. Believe it or not, it’s not always the case. Some people, particularly men experience anger, irritability, grouchiness and even crankiness at some point.
Of course, it is normal to feel angry, especially when something didn’t go the way you want it to be. However, if you react violently to simple things like your toddler forgetting to close the door or your husband not flushing the toilet, which happen to last longer and more intense, then you must experience irritable depression.
Yes, it is still depression but manifests in a different way.
6. Memory Gone Wrong
You used to have a sharp memory. You could remember the number of times your then-boyfriend-now-husband kissed you during your date nights. Then all of a sudden, you can’t remember even the simplest tasks, such as dinner at six with your mom or that date night with your husband on Friday.
So, you blame the three times you had an epidural when you gave birth to your kids. Or is it really the anesthesia’s fault?
If you tend to forget the normal things and have difficulty concentrating, then it can be a sign of depression, especially when it is getting worse. In fact, experts call it pseudo dementia, or cognitive impairment that happens during depression. Don’t worry. The good news is you can still get better in time.
7. Social Withdrawal
What is one of the best things to do to help you unwind? Well, aside from occasional drinks, wouldn’t it be nice to catch up with some friends and see how everyone else is doing?
However, if you find yourself constantly saying no to your friends you haven’t seen in years and prefer to be alone, well, this could mean you are going through a phase called depression.
According to experts, social withdrawal is one of the most important symptoms that tell a person is depressed. When you feel depressed, you tend to withdraw and shy away from social interactions and normal activities you usually do. Isolation breeds depression and sadly, depression leads to deeper isolation.
Isolation is fine although it does signal that there is a problem. The even bigger problem is when your social withdrawal becomes suicidal. There is a greater risk that your suicidal attempt will go unnoticed, with no one to stop you from committing suicide.
8. You Can’t Seem To Give It A Go
However, if you find yourself having difficulty finding your motivation, well, it could mean you are depressed, but you just won’t accept it.
Believe it or not, even simple tasks such as paying the bills, fixing your room, making a sandwich or even taking a shower may seem like a burden to you. When that happens, you need to have yourself checked. Simple tasks must never be treated as insurmountable ones. Otherwise, you’ll end up going down that long road called depression.
9. Colors Appear Dull And Lifeless
There is a reason why kids are fascinated with colors. It’s pretty, it’s fun and visually appealing to the eyes. If you start looking at colors as less vivid and lively, well, you have issues. Apparently, it’s not supposed to be that way.
Colors are supposed to make your life more fun and lively. If you start to look at everything around you as dull and even fail to appreciate the pictures hanging in your office walls, then it is your body’s way of saying that you need to get yourself checked.
10. Drugs And Alcohol Are Your Best Friends
Occasional sips are fine. It helps you relax and even gets you in the mood for bed. But when drinking and drugs became a habit to help you “drown your sorrows and sadness away,” then you might be depressed.
Since when do alcohol and drugs become a lifesaver? Believe it or not, resorting to substances and actually abusing it is a sign of depression.
So, if you constantly find yourself taking in too much alcohol and resorting to illegal substances, stop now and get help before everything else gets worse.
Did you know that in America alone, 20 million people – and counting – are battling with depression? If you are one of them, it’s never too late. If you noticed any of these symptoms are showing, then don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. Don’t wait for depression to get worse. Get over it now and start to live a healthy and depression-free life.