Not always we can recognize if people in our lives are struggling with depression. Even worse, many people live undiagnosed because of incorrect assumptions about how this disease reveals and what to look for.
We have to understand that suffering is not always clearly observable to us. We need to learn more and help those who deal with illness that goes unnoticeable.
Here are some signs that some people deal with hidden depression:
They might hide their “depressed look”
Media and cultural stereotypes teach us that people struggling with depression hardly ever leave their room, don’t dress well, and look miserable almost all the time. But people with depression do not behave in the same way.
Because all people are different, the symptoms and their ability to cope with depression also differ. Some of these people can pretend good mental health, but that does not mean they suffer less.
Constant exhaustion or complain about always being tired
Constant depression is a common side effect of depression. Not all people with this illness have it, but it is really common. But, for those who experience frequent exhaustion it is one of the most difficult side effects to deal with.
If someone lives with undiagnosed depression disorder, the cause of the exhaustion can be puzzling. These people can sleep well each night and still wake in the morning without energy. They may believe it is due to laziness or some other personal fault.
They can be unusually irritable
Irritability is also a very common symptom of depression that is frequently ignored. Of course it is, since depression is a problem that can’t be seen and it is difficult to overcome.
The busy lives and dealing with depression also drains the person and leaves little space for patience and understanding.
They could have a tough time responding to affection and concern
We think that depression is all about feeling sad.
However, depression is mostly not feeling anything, or only briefly experiencing emotions. Of course it depends on the person, but most people dealing with depression say that they almost feel numb and the closest thing to emotion they feel is sadness or irritation.
Depressed people turn down activities they used to love or enjoyed
Depression, besides being mentally draining, it is a physical draining too. Lack of interest in activities for a longer time period may be a sign that someone is in a depression. It can make it difficult to enjoy in all the things you liked previously.
Developing abnormal eating habits
People with depression may develop eating habits either as a form of coping with their illness, or as a side effect of lower self-care. Overeating is the only pleasure a depressed person gives him/herself, so he/her eats excessively.
If the depressed person eats too little, it happens due to their condition which affects their appetite. If people with depression are not diagnosed or they hide that, people will think their eating habits are a personal choice and will judge them for it, making the depressed people feel even worse.
They may start needing more from you
Because a depressed person can’t function like any mentally healthy person, s/he won’t be able to do some things. That is why you should not be shaming them about it, because that will not help, but only hurt them.
If they hide their illness, it will be harder to deal when others get annoyed because they can’t perform the way they are expected to.
They can have mood swings
To you and to people with undiagnosed depression the mood swings seem without any reason, but it is just the way depression manifests.
You may falsely believe that a person with depression feels better only because of a few “good” days.
When you think they feel better and have recovered, you may push them too quickly into things. That may cause them retreat into themselves again.
You need to be supportive of your relatives and friends who deal with depression, but it is up to them to bring decisions.