7 Hidden Signs of Depression You Should Know

Many people assume that the symptoms of depression would be obvious. After all, many people simply equate depression with sadness, but there is more to depression besides feeling sad.

Although this mental health condition is somewhat common, it is still widely misunderstood. But if you don’t know which warning signs to look out for, you might not even realize that you’re experiencing symptoms of depression. Furthermore, you may overlook symptoms of depression in a close friend or relative.

Everyone needs to understand these symptoms of depression that often go unnoticed. Here are a few signs that should be a cause for concern.

1. Disrupted Sleep Habits

Depression can often cause abnormal sleep habits. Someone with depression might find themselves sleeping well over eight hours every night. Yet when they wake up, they still feel tired. On the other hand, some people with depression may find it practically impossible to fall asleep. Negative thoughts might keep them tossing and turning for hours.

2. Dietary Changes

Lots of people with depression experience changes in their appetite. In turn, this causes them to change their diets. It can take a while for someone to even notice that their dietary choices have shifted – and by that time, their physical health may have been affected as well. Some might lack an appetite, while others might reach for comfort food as a coping mechanism.

3. Substance Abuse

While some people turn to comfort food for a temporary feeling of escape, others might succumb to substance abuse. This can have devastating effects in the long run. But for someone with depression, being under the influence of a particular substance can provide a brief respite from their negative thought patterns. However, over time, substance abuse will only make someone’s depression worse.

4. Dismissing Feelings

Perhaps you often hint at your true feelings to friends, only to tell them not to worry about you – you don’t want them to be concerned. Or maybe you have a friend who has hinted that they’ve been feeling down on multiple occasions recently. Yet when you ask them about it, they laugh it off and tell you that they’re fine.

Sometimes, people with depression try to speak up. But they’re not sure how people would respond if they straightforwardly talked about their mental health, so they back away from the conversation.

5. Self-Deprecation

Do you ever put yourself down and play it off as a joke? Or do you have friends who tend to do the same thing? Maybe you feel the need to apologize profusely for very minor mistakes. Or maybe you discourage yourself from trying new things. All of these habits could be described as “self-deprecation.”

Basically, people with depression often struggle to understand their self-worth. They may frequently apologize, even when they haven’t done anything wrong, and they might criticize themselves and talk themselves out of doing anything challenging or gratifying.

6. Mood Swings

Yes, mood swings can be a sign of depression. A person with depression doesn’t necessarily feel sad or numb all the time. They may have brief moments of happiness, only to come crashing down emotionally again. Some people might assume that mood swings are only associated with bipolar disorder, but they can be a symptom of depression too.

7. Pessimism About the Future

Finally, people with depression often feel pessimistic about the future. They might express a negative perspective on their own personal life trajectory, or they might feel deeply concerned about the future of society overall.