Fall is here and it’s quickly turning into winter and with that, a lot of people tend to get depression – during this time of the year, people will refer to it as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” AKA SAD or “Wintertime Blues” – no matter what you want to call it, it’s still depression.
Sometimes depression isn’t so easy to identify and that’s the reason for this post; this is a list of not so obvious signs of depression and you can look at it and see if you or somebody you know has any of these signs – if so, that does not necessarily mean you/they have depression – only a certified physician can make that diagnosis. This list is only to help you identify the signs and talk to your doctor.
The List Of Not So Obvious Signs of Depression:
- A person who goes out of their way to ensure everybody else is happy, can be a sign of depression. If a person is trying their hardest to make sure the people around them are happy, often times than not, they’re doing it because they can’t make themselves happy and so they want to do what they can to spread happiness and see others be happy, at least.
- Bad hygiene – if a person has a hard time maintaining simple hygiene, such as brushing their teeth, combing their hair, bathing, washing their clothes…etc, that can be a sign of depression. A lot of people with depression don’t have energy or can’t be bothering putting effort into their looks and won’t bother doing simple hygiene. Sometimes, people with depression have a hard time looking at themselves in the mirror and will avoid it at all costs. Also, if a person is lost in a certain activity (such as binge watching tv), they can “forget” to bathe and that will start to become apparent really quick.
- If a you or someone you know is sleeping a lot more lately, that can be a sign of depression. People with depression lack energy and feel safe and comfortable in their beds and figure they don’t have to face their issues if they’re asleep and not out in the world. Their bedroom/bed/couch is their safe haven and they don’t like leaving it if they don’t have to.
- If a person is giving away their valuable and sentimental belongings, that could be a sign of depression – in fact, that can be a huge red flag meaning they’ve given up and are contemplating suicide. Again, this is not always the case, but it is something to be aware of. It could also mean that they’re detached and are withdrawn from everyday life and activities. At one time, those items once held special meaning to the person, but now, they’re no longer interested.
- Sexual promiscuity is another not so obvious sign of depression and it’s because a person who is promiscuous is seeking something that might fill a “void” that they’re feeling and to them, “bonding” with someone or someones can help them fill it but often times, they end up feeling even more empty and depressed and so they think if they go and chase it again, maybe the next time it will work. And the cycle continues.
- Always drinking to “get drunk” – if you or someone you know is drinking a lot more than they have been and they’re drunk a lot of the times, that’s another not so obvious sign of depression. People tend to drink to try and forget whatever it is that’s bothering them and sometimes, they have to drink a lot in order to forget about it – another problem that happens is a person starts building up a tolerance to alcohol and will have to drink more in order to get a buzz or to get drunk. Before you know it, a person will need to drink a lot of alcohol to feel any kind of drunk sensation.
- Sudden and drastic weight loss is another sign of depression. Yes, some people lose weight because they become more active or they are watching what they eat; but there are some people who lose weight when they’re depressed because they no longer feel the need to eat, they have no appetite, food makes them sick to their stomach or sometimes they feel as though they are not “worthy” of food. If a person gets lost in a certain activity, like video games, they can forget to eat or choose not to eat because they don’t want to leave their bubble and would rather do without food. If you or someone you know is losing weight and you’re not trying to and you don’t have any underlying illness, you might have depression.
- The opposite of weight loss is weight gain and that’s another not so obvious sign of depression. If you or someone you know has been putting on the pounds lately, you might be trying to seek comfort in food or you’re trying to fill a void with it. Just like a druggie or an alcoholic chasing their drugs and drinks, a depressed person is chasing food, because it helps them feel good for a moment; because, believe it or not, a rush of dopamine floods their brain for a brief second and it feels good to a person. But like all things, that rush of dopamine doesn’t last that long and so, once again, they have to chase it once again.
- Withdrawing from friends can be another not so obvious sign of depression. People with depression don’t see the joy and fun in normal activities where they once did. To them, they’d rather stay in their “cocoon” or safe haven and sleep or get lost in their smart device or television.
- If you or someone you know is unable to detach from a certain activity – that can be another not so obvious sign of depression. To a depressed person, Netflix, video games, books…etc, are an escape and they like to get “lost” in those activities so they don’t have to come out and face the real world. If it were up to them, they’d do those activities 24/7 and will often forget to sleep, eat and bathe and that’s where the weight loss and bad hygiene comes in to play as well.
This list of 10 not so obvious signs of depression is not all encompassing and there are many, many more signs of depression and even if you have some, or all of these signs, it does not automatically mean you are depressed – only a certified doctor or physician can make that determination.
If you feel you or someone you know has depression, please seek out help. Speak with a doctor, talk with a close friend, reach out to me or someone you feel comfortable in talking with and start to get on the road to happiness.
If you are having thoughts or suicide or if someone you know is talking about suicide or is showing suicidal tendencies, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Try to find happiness in life. I know it’s not always easy, but it’s out there. A lot of times, it’s easier said than done, but if you try just a little bit each day, you will be further along than you were yesterday and before you know it, you’ll be living a happy life that you are in control of.
Mindfulness and meditation can be a very helpful tool in battling depression. Clearing the mind of the unwanted/unneeded thoughts can help you become happier and positive – it just takes practice. You should try for yourself – even if you don’t have anxiety or depression, you can still benefit! Read more about mindfulness here.