Depression is a silent killer. Many people are ashamed or afraid to ask for help, so they go on with their lives and live with it in secret. However, there are still small habits that these individuals will do when they enter a depressive episode.
It’s important to remember that depression is a brain illness that can be fatal if it’s not treated properly. Every year, depression affects more than 16 million Americans. Mental health is starting to get the recognition that it deserves, but there is still more work to be done. According to statistics, only 3.5% of Americans who are suffering from depression seek help. This is a major concern because it is extremely tough to deal with depression on your own.
For some, they don’t seek help because they feel it’s not a serious issue. Others see it as a sense of weakness, they think that asking for help means they can’t deal with their own problems. This is why it’s essential for friends and family to be able to spot certain habits or signs of depression. It doesn’t mean the individual will automatically open up, but it will definitely show them they have people around them who are aware of the changes they’re going through and are there to help.
1. Wanting To Be Alone
If you are suffering from depression, you probably don’t like leaving your house/room. You want to be alone with your thoughts and in most cases want to feel sorry for yourself without anyone bothering you.
Many people who suffer from depression just want to spend their time alone. They may completely give up on communicating with others. They will isolate themselves and give up on a daily routine. They may ignore calls, stop showing up to work, stop going to school, stop paying bills, the list goes on.
Many people suffering from depression will not seek help because they believe they can deal with it on their own. They become obsessed with trying to figure out why they’re in agony, but in many cases, this just makes things worse, especially if they can’t figure out why. Pushing people away is nothing new for people suffering from depression. But the difference is that they do it in a harmful way. The reason they do it is to mask the emotion of anger rather than sadness. It’s one thing to avoid plans and appointments, but some people want nothing to do with human interaction when they are depressed, so they may walk around with headphones in their ears not only to avoid talking to people, but to also portray that they are functioning when they really are not.
2. Issues With Sleeping
People who are depressed tend to have trouble sleeping. Not only does this affect their physical well being, but it also significantly affects their mental well being. People who are depressed will pretend that they’re sleeping so no one will bother them, but they end up staying up all night and struggle to fall asleep because their mind is constantly racing with negative thoughts.
On the other hand, some people with depression may tend to oversleep. They will get home from school/work, lay on the couch and sleep until someone forces them to wake up. They may spend a lot of their time in bed sleeping because they don’t have the energy or mental strength to get up and go about their daily routines. Some people with depression will experience sudden mood swings. They may go from not sleeping to sleeping all the time. They may even go from constantly working out to sitting on the couch all day.
Do you recognize any of these habits? Keep on reading for some less obvious signs that someone may be depressed.
3. Lack Of Energy
Someone who suffers from depression will constantly cancel plans and appointments. They don’t have the energy or the desire to do anything. They just want to be left alone. Those suffering from depression may also sleep on the couch and binge watch television shows. Seems harmless right? But at the same time, they avoid eating, showering or even socializing. For some people suffering from depression, the sound of water relaxes them and eases their mind. So they may end up taking up to three showers a day depending on how severe the depressive episode is.
Depression can cause people to become lazy, which translates into procrastination. They will avoid chores and stop taking care of their appearance.
Because people with depression lack energy, they may begin to avoid doing regular daily tasks like cooking. There is nothing tastier than a home cooked meal, but because depression is extremely draining, people suffering from it will often buy takeout because they lack the energy and motivation to cook. In addition to this, people who suffer from depression sometimes do not even enjoy the taste of food, says WebMD. This doesn’t mean that the food tastes bad; it means that they’re so stressed about so many issues that they can’t enjoy their food. They may also start eating less or lose their appetite altogether.
People who are depressed tend to look for distractions to help keep their minds occupied. This can range from listening to music, to cleaning, to even exercising. It’s never a bad thing to be addicted to cleaning. Some people suffering from depression will clean anything and everything, says WebMD. It’s a good distraction and helps them focus on something more positive instead of something negative.
Running also helps many people dealing with depression. It gives them a sense of accomplishment, which is one of the main symptoms of depression – that they don’t feel that they have accomplished anything in life. Music can also be a telltale sign of someone’s mood. Someone suffering from depression may enjoy old rock and roll, but the second they develop a depressive episode, they may enjoy listening to something more soft and relatable to their situation. To deal with depression, some people also use distractions such as writing poetry and other creative stories that are based off happier times they have experienced. It helps keep the negative thoughts out of their head.
5. Bad Habits
Although some distractions can be good for a depressed person, there are also certain distractions which can lead to unhealthy habits. One example is picking skin until marks are left. Some people get satisfaction when they hurt themselves, which needs to be dealt with immediately before it becomes life-threatening. Some people will also suffer from other disorders that contribute to their depression. For example, some people will also suffer from trichotillomania, which is the disorder where the person will keep pulling their hair. After they pull it out, they will get a sense of relief.
Depression is a serious medical illness which affects millions of people all across the world. It tricks people into believing that that they are not loved, that life has no meaning, and that there is no reason to continue trying, regardless of what the situation is in a person’s life may be. The most challenging thing for those suffering from depression is trying to hide it. They struggle every day to put on a smile, when in reality they’re crying inside. People may notice, but they play it off by saying “I’m just tired.”
If you feel that you are suffering from any of these habits and may be depressed, speak to your doctor today. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed about your mental health. You’re not alone.