Author: Shernide Delva
Depression can occur at any time, but sometimes we choose to ignore it. Some of us would much rather fall apart on the inside, rather than admit to needing help. While you may look tough and confident on the outside, on the inside, you could be fighting an internal struggle. Even more interesting is the fact that many of us are so good at hiding our depression; we do not even realize we are really depressed. Does this sound like you?
If it does, you are not alone. You can feel secure knowing that 350 million people are affected by depression worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That’s really sad but oddly comforting?
Regardless, there are too many people in the world who are depressed who are not getting help simply because they feel embarrassed or ashamed. Perhaps people have made you feel weak or guilty about feeling that way. We live in a world that promotes having a tough exterior over admitting to vulnerabilities. Now is the time to change those perceptions.
Knowing the signs of concealed depression is the best way to find out if you need help. Many people, myself included, try to hide their depression and tell themselves they are over dramatic and weak. However, that is not a healthy way of coping. This list will help you understand whether or not you have a deeper issue that needs addressing. Look out for the following seven signs both in yourself, and the people you care about.
HERE ARE 7 SIGNS OF CONCEALED DEPRESSION:
You have lost interest in everything you were once passionate about.
Many people who suffer from depression find that activities that meant the world to them at one point mean absolutely nothing to them now. For example, if you once enjoyed playing music, you may find the idea of playing an instrument exhausting and emotionally draining. If you once were super fit and into sports, you may find the idea of going outside a bore. There is a Regina Spektor song called Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori which has the lyrics:
It’s hard, it’s hard
To live, to live
It’s hard, it’s harder
Than it’s ever been before
Things that used to comfort me
Don’t comfort me anymore
Essentially those lyrics describe what the feeling is like. You feel as though activities and things that once gave you pleasure no longer comfort you anymore. If this feeling does not go away, you could be depressed. People who are depressed try to engage in things they once enjoyed in the past, however, they no longer find those activities pleasurable. If you feel this way, now is the time to get help.
You’re super low energy. Everything is draining.
One of the biggest indicators of depression is a lack of energy. Feeling depressed is very exhausting to the mind and body. In addition, your feelings of depression may affect your sleep patterns making you feel MORE tired. Feelings of hopelessness and despair plague the mind and result in exhaustion. One way to combat this is through eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of water. Try exercising, socializing and getting fresh air even when you don’t want to. Try not to over-schedule your day as that can also be overwhelming. Take it one day at a time.
You’ve seen changes in your weight and eating habits.
Are you gaining or losing weight uncontrollably? This is a common symptom of depression. Concealed depression can result in overeating or a loss of interest in food. You may not even notice at first, but a sudden change in weight can be a major warning sign of depression. Watch out for this sign especially if you have a history of depression in your family. Weight change can be unhealthy so try not to eat (or skip meals) based on your emotions. Instead, seek help.
Insomnia or Hypersomnia: You can’t sleep or you sleep too much.
Patients who suffer from insomnia have triple the chance of developing depression. It is possible that your feelings of depression are a result of lack of sleep. Talk to a professional about tools you can use to improve your sleeping habits. While a few nights of restlessness is nothing to be alarmed about, not being able to sleep over a long period could point to more severe circumstances. If you notice this happening often, it is time to reach out for help. On the other side of the spectrum, if you find yourself oversleeping or craving sleep, you may be trying to escape your problems instead of face them. Seek help instead of ignoring the problem.
Abusing Substances to “deal.”
People often use substances to escape their mind and emotions for a short period. However, it can be easy to become addicted to substances if they provide an easy solution. Over time, this behavior can become addictive. Many addicts who abuse substances avoid admitting to their depression and instead state they are using drugs for other reasons such as to “relax” or “let loose.” If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone. Do not feel ashamed about coming out with having a problem.
You never admit when you are feeling depressed.
People who hide their depression are experts at covering up their true feelings. Often, they feel it is a hassle to bother others about their problems. They usually feel embarrassed about feeling bad in the first place, which makes the problem worse. If you find yourself wanting to push through your depression rather than face it, take a step back. Many people who have concealed depression never reach out until it is almost too late. Do not wait to get to that point, get help now while you still can. Covering up your feelings is not worth it.
You prefer to be alone than with people.
I am naturally an introvert so find I love spending time alone, however when it becomes excessive, it is something to think about. If you find yourself not wanting to do ANYTHING around people, you may be hiding an internal issue. People with depression tend to want to isolate themselves from others. They turn down social events in order to spend time alone in their room. If this sounds like you, you may be concealing your depression and need to reach out for help. Being around people can be a good thing if you learn how to cope.
Overall, depression is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. If you are experiencing any of the signs above, please get help. Do not let your depression result in you participating in unhealthy behaviors to cope. Seek help from a professional and find ways to move forward. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135