It may not seem easy to spot individuals that have signs of hidden depression. Increased awareness and the acceptance of depression as a disease has shepherded in an era of treatments and therapies, and removed some of the stigma those suffering used to feel more frequently. Yet the stigma still remains, and for some, depression feels like a condition they need to suffer on their own.
Depression can be a crippling force in one’s life. Short-term depressions from a loss or disappointing situation can become life-long affliction if the depression itself become a “habit.” When people feel they need to hide their true feelings, they deprive themselves of the support that may exist in the community around them.
Recognizing the signs of hidden depression in our loved ones or acquaintances can allow us extend to them our arms and help them climb out of the hole they’re in.
To some, depression can feel like something they will just outgrow. For others, anxiety and fear of change can join with the depression and it can feel far too overwhelming to ask for help.
Be aware of the signs of depression below. Nothing of these can be a completely solid indicator, but if someone you love is exhibiting several warning signs, they may need help which they don’t know how to ask for.
4 Common Signs of Hidden Depression
Sleeping can be a double-edged sword when it comes to depression. In a perfectly normal person, sleep deprivation can cause a host of problems including depression. In this way, sleep can become a cause of depression and once the abnormality is corrected their mood may improve.
Parents of newborns, those working the night shift, and those chronically deprived of normal sleeping hours may be at risk for developing depression.
Even if our sleeping schedules feel fairly normal, someone that is depressed may complain of always feeling tired. They may sleep abnormally long stretches of time or seem to never sleep at all.
If you notice that your loved one has significantly changed their approach to sleep, it may be worth further observation. Sleep is an essential element to health and regeneration of the body and mind and needs to be balanced for a healthy and happy lifestyle.
2. Loss of Interest in Favorite Activities
While it’s true that we all may find new interests throughout our lives, if you notice a sudden or slow shift where a loved one has no interest in the things they once enjoyed, it may be cause for concern. Feeling disillusioned or like nothing you do has any meaning is a common symptom of depression.
For example, if someone you love used to enjoy cycling several times a week and has since given it up, that is a significant shift that should be addressed. If they enjoyed attending a social activity like church or a social meet-up of some kind before and have completely lost interest, it’s worth asking why they suddenly decided to move on.
Life changes cause us to make all of kinds of decisions about how we spend our time. Some activities bring us joy while others become just become a habit we eventually outgrow. So while it’s not definitely a sign of depression when someone’s schedule changes, it might not hurt to ask why.
3. They Can Be Very Sensitive
We all battle certain levels of anger and rage when things don’t seem to go our way. Life can be frustrating at times and everyone has a breaking point. But what about someone who seems repeatedly too touchy towards situations that don’t exactly go their way?
Aggression, cynicism, and frequent outbursts, particularly in someone who doesn’t typically display these qualities, may be a warning sign of hidden depression.
It may occur as a symptom in some individuals that feel sadness is a form of weakness and depression is not something they want to be stigmatized with.
4. They Don’t Often Open Up Their Feelings
Those that feel they need to mask their depression may become committed to the cause of keeping their condition in the dark. The most direct and human thing to do is to sit down and have a conversation with them, especially if they are a loved one. It may sound simpler than it is to just sit down and ask to talk about what they are feeling, but it’s important to try to talk regularly if you suspect they might be hiding their depression.
When you talk to someone you aren’t sure is struggling with depression, how do they respond to questions about the intense moments of their life and the world around them? Do they burst into tears or become so angry at the mention of something that they leave the conversation? If so, it’s worth wondering if they might be secretly hiding their depression.
Does anyone you know exhibit these signs of hidden depression?