Most people think they know what depression looks like. What you may not know is that depression can present differently in different people. It usually develops over time and may show up in subtle, small changes that don’t seem alarming at first.
It’s important to know the signs of depression so you can seek help if you’re struggling. There are plenty of warnings, but if you’re not aware, you might not recognize them or associate them with depression.
Listed below are several signgs that you might be suffering with depression but don’t realize it.
1. Your appetite has changed (can be more or less)
When depressed, you may use food as a soother, causing you to overeat. However, some people find that they don’t want to eat any food when depressed. They don’t take joy from something like sitting down for a meal, and they may go long periods without eating.
2. You’re tired more often.
Depression can make you feel like you want to sleep all the time. A person struggling with depression is often tired, no matter what. Twelve hours of sleep doesn’t help, and energy won’t come no matter how much you rest.
3. You may be having a hard time sleeping well at night.
Tired but having trouble sleeping? That can be a sign of depression. The mind won’t seem to shut down when the body is ready, and not getting enough sleep can exacerbate depression even further.
4. You have lost interest in the things you used to enjoy.
Everyone has hobbies or activities that they look forward to. A major sign of depression is when those previous interests no longer hold any allure. Depression often makes everything, even things you used to enjoy, seem like tedious tasks instead of joy-filled experiences. Your interest just isn’t there anymore.
5. Everyday tasks are hard.
Feeling overwhelmed before even stepping out of bed in the morning is a sign that something is wrong. Though it’s normal to be challenged by difficult tasks or out-of-the-ordinary stress, everyday activities should not feel insurmountable unless depression is a factor.
6. Your body hurts.
Though most people think of depression as simply being a mental health issue, it can affect the body. People suffering with depression may feel achy or sore without being able to pinpoint why. The mental and physical aspects of our bodies are connected, so it makes sense that we feel a sense of hurt in our bodies when our mind is struggling.
7. You feel irritable.
The irritability that most people feel when depressed doesn’t have to have a particular cause. That’s what makes it baffling. Small things that never seem that annoying before are suddenly make you really annoyed. Some people with depression wake up in the morning irritated before the day has even started.
8. You find yourself escaping with alcohol (or something else).
Though alcohol is one of the worst substances to add to depression, many of those who suffer with depressive episodes reach for the bottle in order to try to numb the pain. Alcohol will inevitably exacerbate the problem, as can other forms of self-soothing that rely on the use of other substances.
9. You’ve been having a hard time concentrating.
Brain fog, mental stall, or forgetfulness are all common when depression is present. Even if you have interest in completing a task, the concentration to see it through often just isn’t available. This can lead to feelings of self-doubt and shame.
10. You feel guilty about lots of things.
What is there to feel guilty about? When depressed, the answer is usually everything. Depression can make basic tasks harder to complete, and this leads to shame and guilt. The past, present, and unknown future suddenly become sources of guilt when depression is steering the brain.
11. You feel like you’re not living up to your potential.
You may feel like you are not doing enough with your life, and this will then lead to more guilt. Accomplishing more won’t particularly make you feel better. When depressed, most people focus on the negative and have a hard time seeing any positive. This means even when you do accomplish something worthwhile, you won’t feel better.
12. You care less and less bout your appearance.
It’s not necessary to be vain to be mentally well, but if you stop caring at all about physical appearance, there is usually an underlying reason. Depression could be it. Some people struggling with depression stop basic performing basic hygiene tasks, such as showering or brushing teeth.
13. You’ve been experiencing anxiety.
People don’t always link anxiety and depression together, but many people who are anxious also suffer from depression. The stress of an overly anxious mind running on full speed constantly can lead to a depressive crash, so it’s important to look for signs of depression when dealing with anxiety.
14. You are fixating on the past.
Replaying your days and even your past on a loop is a sign of depression. The inability to live in the moment or let go of the past leaves those dealing with depression reliving the past or wishing they could change what has already occurred.
15. It’s hard to make decisions.
Even simple decisions, like what to have for dinner or which book to read, seem impossible to make. Depression laces even the simplest tasks with complications, and it’s hard to be decisive when mentally down.
When you feel out of sorts, take it seriously. Depression doesn’t always appear the way we expect, but it often lurks, showing signs that we may miss if not aware.