According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are around 280 million people suffering from depression worldwide (1).
The symptoms of depression are not always obvious. Some people actually go out of their way to hide their depression symptoms from their loved ones and other people as well. And some people are so good at this that they themselves may have a hard time recognizing their symptoms.
That’s why hidden or concealed depression is sometimes called “smiling” depression. People suffering from concealed depression may appear happy, easy-going, and satisfied with their lives. They may also seem high functioning and productive at work and in various social situations, but inwardly or when they’re on their own, they are experiencing the classic depression symptoms, which have a negative impact on their feelings, thoughts, and overall health. What’s worse, these symptoms persist.
There are different reasons why some people decide to conceal their symptoms of depression. Some do that since they don’t want to burden the people they truly care about. Others may feel ashamed that they’re suffering from this illness. And some may feel afraid or embarrassed to seek professional help or open up to their loved ones about their situation.
If you’re reading this article, then you relate to this or probably know someone that you suspect is struggling with depression. Whatever the case may be, being able to recognize the hidden symptoms of depression, you will be better prepared to help yourself, or a loved one deal with and overcome this mental illness.
Here are 20 signs of hidden depression:
1. Intentional Efforts To Look Okay
Or happy or upbeat. Depression has many faces. It’s a myth that people suffering from depression are always down. Nobody wants to make others sad or miserable, so no wonder depressed people try to look happy and “put together.” They deal with so much inside, but opening that door at social gatherings won’t improve the situation, so these people selfishly keep their burdens to themselves. (2)
2. Abandonment Issues
People with depression have abandonment issues lurking in the background that others are not aware of. This fear of abandonment usually appears as a result of a past experience or trauma and can influence their entire life. This is a devastating thing to deal with daily. It presses your chest so hard that you feel the air cannot reach your lungs. You try to ignore that gnawing feeling, but it only numbs and somehow comes back stronger each time.
3. A Philosophical Approach To Life
Depressed people usually turn to the philosophical, the spiritual. They are interested in knowing more about what lies beyond the earthly, worldly pleasures and sins of our society. Their thinking is visionary and unique. They are interested in deep conversations and can go on for hours searching for the truth and the purpose of life tirelessly. (3)
4. Feeling Everything Intensely And Being Creative
They are like empaths. They understand pain and emotions. They’ve mastered them, so they know every shade, every layer of the human soul. No wonder people suffering from depression are so creative – it’s because all that inner suffering gives them space for that abundance of emotions, so much so that the only way to manage them is through creation, through art. So, it should come as no surprise that many artists dealt with depression at some point in life, and it is then that they produced their best works.
5. Gaining Or Losing Considerable Amounts Of Weight
Some people with concealed depression can unexpectedly change their eating habits. For instance, some may eat more food for comfort, while others may eat less due to being constantly in a low mood. These sudden changes in appetite can lead to weight gain or weight loss and also have an impact on the energy levels and mood of the person suffering from depression.
6. Personality Changes
Some people with concealed depression can experience changes in their personality too. For instance, someone suffering from this condition might become more pessimistic if they used to have a positive outlook on the world, or withdraw into themselves and become quieter if they were once sociable, extroverted, and energetic.
7. Sleep Deprivation Or Sleeping More
Some people with concealed depression may experience changes in their sleep habits. For instance, some people might have a hard time falling or staying asleep, while others might sleep more than usual every day.
8. Substance Use
Substance use may be a sign of concealed depression. For instance, some people with depression might begin drinking alcohol or using drugs so as to handle negative emotions, like hopelessness, disappointment, loneliness, anger, or sadness.
9. Changes In Social Interactions
Some individuals with hidden depression might begin avoiding hanging out with family and friends, giving all kinds of excuses for why they can’t make time to do that. They might even lose interest in activities and practicing hobbies that they used to enjoy. On the other hand, others might suddenly become outgoing and start engaging with others more often than usual in ways that don’t appear genuine.
10. Thinking About Life And Death
People suffering from hidden depression also contemplate death or just think about it. They like to experiment with the dimensions of human existence, and they also read a lot on the matter. Of course, not all depressed people have these thoughts, but some do, and they constantly think about the meaning and the purpose of life, the frustration of not being able to find that purpose and guidance, and what happens after death. Seeking something you cannot find at the moment can be overwhelming and frustrating and make you go even further into that abyss.
11. Anger And Irritability
Being easily irritated or getting angry easily are other pointers to hidden depression. Lack of patience and a short temper can also indicate that there is some underlying unhappiness and frustration that the person is experiencing. They may be disappointed in life and tired of it, so they don’t care about their behavior and the consequences of it.
When people suffering from depression feel like they cannot find meaning in life, they just start sinking emotionally, which usually leads to uncontrolled anger, even at social events or gatherings, unfiltered irritability, and impatience. They see no point in trying to invest in meaningful relationships when their thoughts are obscured by pain and the futility of life.
12. Thinking Of Worst-Case Scenarios And Having A Brain That Never Sleeps
Depression pushes you into a chasm where everything you see ruins, no matter where you look. Your brain never shuts down. You are constantly overthinking. You try to push dark thoughts away, but they keep coming back. You try to be busy to not think about them, but those thoughts lurk at the back of your head despite all your efforts. Your brain picks up the worst-case scenarios and replays them in your head, so you fear that bad things will happen, and you’re torturing yourself, torn between the reality of the world and the reality of your mind.
A lot of depressed people try to get help, but the minute they pick up the phone to schedule an appointment with an expert, they hang up. They refuse to show weakness. Instead, they try to keep themselves busy doing other things, thinking it will go away.
13. Negative Self-Talk
Negative self-talk is a common problem people with depression face. A person with depression may have critical thoughts about themselves and say negative things about themselves in order to divert attention away from their sadness and pain. Unfortunately, negative self-talk can have long-term damaging effects on a person’s cognitive function and overall health.
14. Loss Of Concentration
Loss of concentration and memory issues are common symptoms of depression. For example, a person with depression may begin forgetting what they wanted to say and the names of certain things as well as appear confused during a conversation.
When someone has a hard time focusing and concentrating, this can negatively affect their relationships and workplace productivity.
Undeniably, we all feel tired sometimes, but people that experience persistent or severe fatigue, particularly if they’re experiencing other symptoms of depression, may have concealed depression.
16. Differences In Productivity
People with hidden depression may experience changes in their productivity. For example, some might perform poorly at work, while others might begin devoting considerable amounts of energy and time to their work.
17. Health Issues
Although depression is a mental illness, it can considerably affect a person’s physical health. Besides fatigue, weight gain, and weight loss, concealed depression can also cause different types of physical pain and health issues, such as:
- Digestive problems
- Weakened immune system
- Constricted blood vessels
- Chronic pain conditions
18. Being Less Optimistic Or More Realistic Than Others
You might find this awkward, but having a more pessimistic outlook on life or being more realistic than other people, i.e., people that don’t have depression may be a symptom of hidden depression, particularly if it’s accompanied by other symptoms of this condition.
19. Worrying Excessively
Many people with hidden depression can’t stay easily in the present. They may have trouble enjoying even the simplest things in life, such as having lunch with their family or hanging out with their friends. This is because they spend a considerable amount of time worrying about their mental health condition or things they can’t control.
Some people are so adept at hiding their worries behind their smiles that it’s impossible for their loved ones to recognize they have depression.
20. Decreased Libido
Some healthcare professionals perceive decreased libido as one of the main indicators of depression. There are various reasons why someone may experience a low sex drive when struggling with depression, such as:
- Low self-esteem
- Low energy and tiredness
- Loss of sexual desire
You are not alone. It’s normal to feel everything you’re feeling. And it’s also normal and understandable to do something about i
Riley Cooper is a professional writer who writes informative and creative articles on topics related to various fields of study. Written with love and enthusiasm, her articles inspire readers to broaden their knowledge of the world, think and get ready to act. If you have a general question or comment please fill out the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible https://curiousmindmagazine.com/contact-us/