You might have someone in your family or friend circle who is acting a little weird these days and you might assume that something is wrong with him/her. You see possible signs of depression but you are not sure whether they are actually upset or depressed.
Change in behavior all of a sudden can trigger a worrying sensation in you. You know that something is off with him/her and are confused about their state of mind.
You want to find out what is actually going on with him/her. So, you try confronting them and questioning them whether everything is okay. But you only get the same old classic reply saying “Everything is fine”.
However, judging from their behavior it is clear to you that everything is far from being okay or fine. You cannot leave things the way they are and would want to help. But you can do nothing to help them unless you completely understand their situation.
So, how do you figure things out for you to be able to help them?
Since talking them out won’t work, your best bet would be to observe them for a while. But try to maintain a healthy distance from them so that they won’t notice you.
If you get too close they might get suspicious and would do everything in their power to assure you. And if you still try to stalk them, they might get mad at you and won’t forgive you for trace passing their private space.
This can make things even more complicated and thus should be avoided at all costs. Some few other important things that you should keep in mind include;
Act Naturally: Try acting naturally when you are together or when you approach them. Act the way you used to act before. It will help you get closer without them noticing you.
Talk casually: The way you talk can make or break the ice between you two. If you sound too polite or butter talk with them, it will only alert them. So try talking casually as if everything is normal.
No more questioning: Now here’s the most important thing that you need to keep in mind i.e. no more questioning. It is best that you avoid frequent questioning sessions with them. Nobody enjoys being questioned, specifically related to their situation.
So you must not involve in any kind of questioning session related to their situation at all. You can, however, discuss topics that aren’t direct and more casual ones. You might as well have a discussion involving future plans and goals in life.
Talking about life goals and future plans is a great way of understanding one’s psychology. A person whose mental health is compromised will surely not be able to answer these questions straight.
See if they struggle while answering these questions and if they do, it could be the clue you were looking for. But let’s not get ahead of us and come to a conclusion just yet.
Look for these depression signs to confirm your suspicions before you act impulsively. If you see any of these warning signs listed below, it is time you act and act quickly.
Hidden Signs and Symptoms of Depression
Research has found that not everyone with depression shows symptoms. In fact, most of the people will show no sign at all. Only those with clinical depression or major depressive disorder show depression symptoms.
Even if someone with depression shows any signs at all, the signs might not be direct but hidden. Thus making it difficult to identify. This is one reason why people with depression do not get help on time.
Most of them go unnoticed and without treatment for long enough to develop suicidal thoughts over time. They have now reached a critical point which is medically termed as clinical depression or major depression.
Teens are more at risk of suffering from clinical depression. It is one reason why the number of teens committing suicide every year is on the rise. Nonetheless, adults and older adults too are affected severely.
Treatment at this point is very difficult and takes time to have any effect. The patient might also need to get treatment and medical counseling for substance abuse.
Furthermore, the patient might develop more than one depression disorder which might complicate things even more. In any case, it is best to avoid such critical situations.
In this article, we shall understand what are the different signs and symptoms shown by people with depression and depression disorders. We shall also learn the best possible practices for dealing with depression.
1. Feeling Detached and Lonely
People usually like the company of their favorite people no matter their personality. Even the introverts enjoy the company of someone they like and admire. They like spending time together and have a lot to share and talk about.
So it is only natural for other people to enjoy the company of other people and have fun together.
Only a person with mental disorders may find it annoying to hang out with others. They may feel detached and lonely inside and they are no more comfortable hanging out with friends and family members. You’ll often find them clinging to a corner with a long face on.
This is one of the obvious signs of major depression which is true in most of the depression cases. People often tend to isolate themselves when they are under depression.
This to be expected since a piece of their heart is missing causing their thoughts to stop at the very moment. As a result, they are lost within themselves and are completely occupied with hollow thoughts.
2. Surrounded by Fear
Another common symptom found in people with mental health conditions is fear. People suffering from some kind of mental health condition such as depression may start fearing everything around them. Even their own shadow frightens them every once in a while.
They are no more comfortable staying in the open and prefer staying locked up in their rooms instead. They only come out when they are forced to or if they need to.
As a result their daily work schedule is compromised. It is one of the signs of major depressive disorder. People with major depression often fear the light instead of darkness which is completely opposite to what normal people fear.
Only those who are mentally challenged and are constantly haunted by their own ill thoughts like the comfort of the darkness. They fear being judged by people they know and the society they live in.
Their fear of rejection is so strong that they would rather stay locked up inside their darkroom rather than go out and meet people. So, if someone appears frightened out of the blue, know that it might be one of the hidden depression symptoms.
In such cases, you need to respond quickly. Taking help from the mental health professionals is strongly advised.
3. Talks Less Than Usual
If someone who is talkative by nature suddenly starts to talk less or stops talking at all, chances are they may have become a victim of depression. A person under depression often likes to stay quiet and avoid conversation.
They are no more the ones who would usually start the conversation. Rather they only talk or get involved in the conversation when they are forced to talk.
Losing interest in conversation all of a sudden and avoiding conversation altogether is a strong indicator that the person might be going through an emotional breakdown. It is common for people to talk less or stop talking whenever they have an emotional breakdown.
But it is also true that people stay that way for a short period of time only. And if someone stays that way for a relatively long period of time after suffering an emotional breakdown then know that something is seriously off here.
Although it might not appear serious at first but the situation could take turn for the worse eventually overtime. Try to involve them in conversation as much as possible. You might as well force them to talk if need be.
If it doesn’t seem to have any positive effect on them try consulting with a doctor or a mental health professional.
4. A Feeling of Hopelessness and Helplessness
It is the most common of all the signs shown by a person under major depressive disorder. Getting upset over the loss of loved ones, or break up or loss of a job is one thing but feeling completely worthless is different.
The feeling of hopelessness and helplessness in any situation is a sign that they are not their usual self anymore. Lack of motivation and loss of confidence in oneself then starts to take over their lives.
As a result, they are no more able to complete their everyday tasks. Their quality of life is compromised to a point that they are constantly haunted by suicidal thoughts. Their suicidal thoughts might reach to a point where they actually attempt suicide.
If you see someone you know is going through the so-called hopelessness and helplessness stage in life, chances are they might be a victim of major depressive disorder.
People suffering from the major depressive disorder often see no hope and feel completely helpless. Their thoughts are clouded and they cannot see or think clearly. Even when help is by their side, they still feel helpless and experience complete despair.
Their chances of attempting suicide are significantly high. The only logical way to deal with such a situation is to take help from a doctor as fast as possible.
You might as well contact national suicide prevention lifeline for immediate help. National suicide prevention lifeline is a US based suicide prevention network with over 160 crisis centers. You can call on the toll free number 1-800-273-8255 anytime to receive immediate support.
5. Change in The Sleeping Pattern
The sleeping pattern tells a lot about an individual’s personality. A healthy person will most likely sleep and wake up at the exact same time. This is because their mind is trained in such a way for so long that sleep comes to them naturally when its time.
A person thus only oversleeps or undersleeps when they are mentally disturbed. The continuous thoughts popping within one’s mind may interfere with their sleep schedule.
This is true whenever a person is under severe stress or is depressed. Thus, watching over one’s sleep pattern could hint you of their emotional state(situation).
Sleeping disorder is very common in people living with some kind of mental health condition. They tend to spend sleepless nights or might oversleep than usual. They may have trouble initiating sleep or may face trouble waking awake.
In most of the cases, the sleeping pattern alters i.e. if someone originally loved to sleep a lot, he/she may start sleeping less and vice-versa. Lack of sleep might adversely affect their health and they are more likely to develop other health complications.
The list of health complications may include, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.
If someone you know is having trouble with their sleep for a longer period of them(a year or two) they might be a victim of persistent depressive disorder. The possible treatment of persistent depressive disorder includes consulting a psychiatrist or a health expert.
6. Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is a hidden depression symptom. People with depression lives a miserable life full of pain and suffering. They constantly seek ways to relieve their pain and suffering even if it is only temporary and does not last for long.
So, they often lose their way and find themselves abusing substances. This provides them with temporary relief and so they keep repeating their actions.
Studies have found that substance abuse is common in people with depression. They are more likely to develop smoking and drinking as a habit. They may never give up on their habit even when their depression is cured.
People like to smoke or drink when they feel low or are under stress. But if you find someone you know to smoke and drink regularly or very often who originally smoked and drunk very rarely, it could be one of the hidden signs of depression.
Reasoning wont work on them and you’ll have a hard time controlling their actions. It is best that you seek experts help in the matter.
7. Change in The Eating Pattern
It is common for people to eat according to their mood. Some people like eating when they are feeling low or stressed. While others avoid eating altogether when their mood isn’t right.
Even so, there’s a constant eating pattern developed by individual overtime. This pattern tends to stay constant most of the time and not fluctuate largely even when they have a foul mood.
But when someone is depressed, things can turn out to be different. Their eating pattern fluctuates largely and the consistency is no more the same.
As a result, they may experience weight gain or weight loss depending upon how they react to their foul mood.
These change in eating patterns may significantly change their body weight. Thus losing weight too soon or gaining weight too early may be the sign you are looking for.
So if someone you know suddenly starts eating too much or too little, chances are he/she is a victim of depression and needs your attention.
8. Sudden Loss of Interest
Everyone in this world develops an interest/hobby, one they enjoy a lot and prefer doing more than anything else. Be it playing games, watching tv, surfing the internet, going out for movies, listening to music, dancing and more. These activities make them feel alive and happy.
Losing interest in one’s favorite past time activities is the very first sign of change that you may notice in people with mental health problems- according to institute of mental health.
The most justifiable explanation for this new behavior might be that the person found something else that is more fascinating than watching movies. If that’s the case then there’s nothing to worry whatsoever.
But if someone loses interest all of a sudden and feels awfully low to do anything then it is a possible sign of the bipolar disorder– according to national institute of mental health.
Bipolar disorder is not the same as depression but the symptoms are strikingly similar to that of depression symptoms such as extremely low mood, foul mood, manic episodes, etc.
So if you are confused about whether he/she is suffering from depression or a bipolar disorder consulting with a mental health professional would help to identify the difference between the two.
9. Lack of Concentration at Work
One’s concentration is directly linked with their state of mind. It is something that can only be achieved when one’s mind is at complete peace and there are no disturbances whatsoever. This is usually the case with healthy people.
Healthy people like to clear their thoughts and other disturbances that may affect their concentration while at work. As a result, they can concentrate on their work and give their 100 percent while working. But when one’s mind is overshadowed with emotions and fear, things can be different.
It is the case with people who are living with depression. Their mind is overshadowed with emotions and fear. As a result, they may lack motivation and concentration at work. Even the simplest of tasks that they are used to doing may become a challenge for them to overcome.
So if you know someone who used to give his/her best at work in the past but is disturbed and cannot focus at work, chances are they might be suffering from depression. Talk to them and try to understand more about their situation before coming to any conclusion.
10. Lack of Self-Esteem is A Depression Sign:
Pessimism is characterized by the lack of belief in oneself and quitting stuff even before trying them out. It is often accompanied by a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence.
A pessimist lacks the motivation to do anything and is dead certain that the outcome of an event is going to be against their favor. Thus they insist on not trying them at all.
It is common for people to become pessimistic at times when odds are stacked against them. But when someone behaves like a pessimist even while odds are in their favor, there’s something odd going with that person.
Lack of self-esteem is a depression symptom that might appear irrelevant at first. But as time flies by, their condition keeps getting worse and they eventually end up feeling despair.
Alteration of thought processing and sudden change in one’s mentality is a sign of broken emotions and a haunted mind. This is often the case when a person is going through an emotional breakdown or is suffering from some kind of mental health conditions.
A person under depression will act like a pessimist and may lack the self-esteem to do even the simplest of things. They may blame themselves for the failure they are and start hating themselves.
They are more likely to address themselves as a complete failure and good for nothing person. You might as well hear them babbling things and you have no idea of what they are babbling about.
This is a sign of them having no control over their own thought processing which is true in case of depression.
11. Mood Swing is A Sign Of Depression:
You might have seen people having sudden mood swings and experienced for yourself as well. It is very common for people to experience mood swings from time to time. It’s like a passing wind that comes and goes all on its own.
Generally speaking, you have no control over it. However, you might gain some control over it by the continuous meditational practices over time.
Mood swing may occur in different ways and most of which we still don’t have an understanding of. It is, however, true that women may experience mood swings when they are on periods.
Change in mood has something to do with the hormonal changes that they go through when on periods.
In men’s case, things are a bit complicated. Men may experience mood swings when they are going through a rough time at job, relationship, career, etc.
It is also possible for men to experience mood swings whenever they hear triggering words or phrases which in my case is “Don’t get angry.” I find myself getting madder when someone tries to calm me with the above-mentioned phrase. And I still don’t know why or how this particular phrase makes my mood swing.
Now coming to the point, people experience mood swings from time to time. It is only natural to have a foul mood once in a while. But if someone experiences mood swings repeatedly without any reason, chances are they might be a victim of mood disorder.
There are many forms of mood disorder including maniac disorder and clinical disorder. They might sound all the same to you now. But once you have a complete understanding of these two, you’ll come to realize they are totally different.
In both the cases, making quick decisions is needed.
12. Suicidal Tendency:
Life is precious and if it’s yours then it is the most precious of all. It is engraved in your mind and body, our genes to be precise, and you should do everything you probably can and more to keep it safe.
This is one reason why we are so afraid of death and run away from threats that may kill us instinctively. And in case, escape is impossible, we fight will all we have got and even more.
So why would one want to end their own life?
If giving up on living, killing oneself to be precise, makes any sense to you kindly go visit a psychiatrist as soon as possible. You seriously need help and your thoughts need to get screened by an expert.
Giving up on living or trying to kill oneself is not natural and never will be. Only an ill mind will think and act in such a way. So if you still believe giving up on living is justified then you seriously need immediate help.
When you come across a person who fantasizes about death and talks non-stop about how death will get them freedom, then know that they need immediate help.
Unless he/she is a movie scriptwriter or a novelist working on a psycho-thriller project. There’s a high chance that the person is under severe depression or is mentally ill and in both cases needs immediate treatment.
It is not necessary that a person who is a victim of depression will show all the above signs. Some may only show signs such as loss of interest while others may show signs of fear and anxiety. It is thus important that you try to get involved in a conversation with them to understand better.
Depression is not someone’s choice but rather a way of life that controls him/her instead. You may feel that the person himself isn’t putting any effort and you may be furious. But that is not the complete truth.
Remember depression can make bravest of people feel vulnerable. They have no control over their senses and their own body. It is thus even more of a responsibility for you to take care of your family or friend who is going through depression