You’ve probably heard (or said) the phrase, “I’m so depressed.”
People often use depression as a catch-all term to describe a difficult situation, a hard day at work, or an argument with a loved one. However, the line between a bad week and depression can be fuzzy. How can you tell the difference between feeling down and clinical depression?
Let's get into some sneaky signs of depression you should know about.
Have you been having difficulty with sleep? Do you have a general lack of energy or just feel tired no matter how much rest you get?
If so, this may be a sneaky sign of depression. Sleep disturbances can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you try to do everything "right" when it comes to establishing a proper bedtime routine.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may feel physically exhausted but unable to sleep. Insomnia is also a symptom of depression in some people. This can be easy to miss as a sign of depression because many people associate depression with sleeping too much. If you’ve noticed a big change in your sleep patterns- regardless of what they are- it’s important to pay attention.
Are you feeling more annoyed with friends and family lately? This may be another sneaky sign of depression. Depression can come with irritability and loss of interest in things we typically love and enjoy. Your irritation may also feel like general agitation, boredom, or feeling generally apathetic towards people.
You may feel annoyed when a friend asks you to go to a favorite restaurant or when your mom wants to talk about your favorite TV show. If you find that your tolerance threshold for people and things you love decreases, pay attention. This change may signal that you are experiencing symptoms of depression.
Your Emotions Feel Overwhelming
As mentioned, depression can be associated with apathy and a lack of care for things you typically love. However, depression can also make your feelings seem huge and overwhelming. If you’ve found yourself feeling more emotional than usual, it may be time to talk to someone.
If you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed, you may experience emotional flooding. This enormous rush of emotion can look like panic, rage, or a physical release like sobbing. This can feel so intense that you try to suppress or avoid feeling emotions altogether.
However, emotional cues can reveal essential cues about your mental health. If you find that your emotions feel more intense or that intense emotions are coming up more frequently, this may signal depression.
You Feel Sore or Achy
Feeling like you just got in a hard workout? If this soreness is new or doesn’t make sense, it may be a sign of depression. Depression can trigger physical pain as much as it can trigger feelings of emotional and mental pain.
If you are experiencing physical pain due to depression, it can create a self-fulfilling cycle. You might feel physically weak, making it difficult to take care of yourself. Unfortunately, a lack of such self-care can actually exacerbate your physical pain.
So if you’ve noticed an increase in headaches, achiness, or other physical symptoms - take note of this increase. It may be a sign that you are depressed.
You Feel Extra Hungry (Or Not at All)
Changes in appetite or eating habits may be another sign that depression is sneaking up on you. For example, you may find yourself feeling more hungry than usual or not hungry at all.
You may also find that the types of foods you gravitate toward are different than they were a few months ago. This could look like reaching for comfort foods you haven’t had in a while or reaching for convenience foods for quick energy. That said, having a balanced diet is vital for your mental health- if you aren't getting adequate nutrition, your emotional well-being may suffer.
If you notice significant changes to your eating habits in combination with other symptoms - it’s a good idea to speak to a professional about your symptoms.
You Can’t Make Up Your Mind
Depression can slow down our ability to mentally process information. This can look like having difficulty concentrating or struggling with a complete lack of focus. For example, you may find yourself endlessly scrolling Netflix, unable to decide what you feel like watching, or feeling frozen when trying to decide what type of coffee to buy. This indecisiveness may also impact your attention or focus at work.
Depression slows down our ability to think and focus. When that is combined with other symptoms like physical pain, lack of sleep, or change in appetite, it can feel impossible to make a decision. If you find yourself experiencing a sudden bout of indecision, take note.
Now That You Know Some Sneaky Signs of Depression, What’s Next?
If you find these sneaky signs resonate with you, seeking professional support is a good idea. Depression is treatable and a mental health professional can help support you.
At The Resurface Group, we understand the connection between substance use, mental health, and emotional well-being. We want to provide you with the care and understanding you need. Contact us today to get started!