The common expectation when someone is depressed is that they will look sad and mopey, as well as unmotivated to do anything. Maybe Hollywood is to blame or the social taboo of admitting to ourselves or anyone else that sometimes we just aren’t happy.
Whatever the case, depression doesn’t always manifest so dramatically and there are a number of subtle signs that you might not even notice until your attention has been directed to them.
Here are 5 things you unconsciously do when you are depressed. See if any of these sound familiar to you. If they do, then you might just be depressed without even knowing it!
You’re not sure how to interpret affection
Depression doesn’t always just make us sad, in fact, this is a very common misconception. Sometimes we simply go numb. While this mechanism for coping keeps us feeling the things that are bringing us down, it also makes it harder to empathize. When someone is affectionate towards you, it might feel fake or you may simply feel uncomfortable.
You might even find that you don’t know how to deal with compliments.
If you find yourself increasingly uncomfortable when people are expressing emotion then it might well be a sign that you are suffering from depression.
You find yourself Overproductive or underproductive on different days
One of the common ways that people deal with depression is going into ‘overdrive’ when it comes to their work or even their hobbies. On the flip side, maybe you find lately that it’s hard to focus and progress seems to come an inch at a time.
Both of these behaviors are a big warning sign that depression might be at work and needs to be dealt with, preferably with the assistance of a professional.
Your eating habits have changed and you really haven’t noticed
Think about how you are taking your meals of late. Are you skipping meals a lot lately or eating more than usual? Do you find yourself seeking out sugary snacks more often than you were before?
These could be a sign of undiagnosed depression. For some, skipping meals is a way of controlling something in life when subconsciously we feel that we have no control. With overeating or hitting those sugary snacks, this is often a means of trying to fill the hole that we are feeling inside. The sugar even provides a chemical rush, though this is short lived.
If your appetites have changed dramatically of late then it is a good idea to get some help before this behavior becomes habitual and harder to deal with.
You always seem to be tired, even when you get extra sleep
Feeling that you are constantly exhausted is another big red flag that depression might be at play. This is especially true if you have been getting more sleep than usual and it never seems to be enough. Most often those who are suffering from this will blame themselves, imagining that they are lazy or simply not ambitious enough.
If you feel this way yourself or if are often surprised to hear from others that you ‘look tired’, this could be undiagnosed depression and it should be dealt with right away as this can get much worse very quickly.
Your socialization habits have changed
Changes in socialization are another sign of undiagnosed depression. Some people become overly extroverted, always finding themselves in the company of others and very seldom alone. On the other side of the fence, normally social people may find themselves becoming a bit of a recluse. They may rationalize this by claiming that they have been wasting too much time socializing.
If you have noticed behavioral changes like this in yourself or in others then it could be undiagnosed depression.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms then help is available
If you found yourself nodding when you heard about one or more of these symptoms then you should know that help is available. Counselors can help you get those emotions to the surface. A psychiatrist can help if there is a chemical imbalance that is starting to develop in this stage of your life.
There are even anonymous lines you can call or use to chat online with people who can help you begin the steps that you need to take when dealing with depression. Furthermore, the World Health Organization tells us that over 264 million people worldwide are suffering from depression.
This tells us that depression is not a taboo, but a very real condition. It also tells us that we are not suffering alone and we don’t have to be alone. Start dealing with your depression today!