Almost everyone knows at least one person who suffers from depression. But did you know that there are hidden signs of depression that a majority of people never see because they don’t know what they are? If a friend or a family member has depression, they might not tell anyone and just try to function on their own. Here are some of the hidden signs of depression.
We all know that one person that doesn’t care about their appearance. That’s not what I’m not referring to. Imagine going days, even weeks, without a shower or wearing the same clothes until they smell. Depression makes it hard to care about one’s appearance and hygiene. Sometimes those affected by depression don’t have the ability to even take care of themselves. They may semi-function to go to work in a different outfit, but they immediately change back to the same clothes after work. The main point is that they just don’t care enough about themselves to take a shower. It’s too hard to move.
Depressed individuals will often completely shirk food, but they will do so in an almost invisible way so that no one notices. The seriousness of this is that they are not hungry because their minds are racing with negative thoughts, while their heart is broken. They will go without food for days or weeks. This is a very serious situation that needs addressing immediately for the physical health of the individual.
Living in a “Cave.”
Some people like to live in a “cave” atmosphere with darker rooms, but that is normal for them. You wouldn’t notice that changing or other symptoms of depression. This hidden sign of depression is different. The blinds are always down. The lights may be off completely, or only one in the house that is dim. The house will have a very closed in feeling, and it’s almost like the individual is trying to pad themselves in safety from the outside world. This sign is easier to experience than the others. If you notice this, stop and ask your friend why the house is so dark. Their answer may display signs of depression that weren’t so obvious.
Depressed people don’t want to think. They want their minds to quiet down. This will cause them to overly occupy themselves with extra work or organizing or other mental distractions for hours. Using the logical side of the brain for a while is a welcome relief for those suffering from depression. This may make the depressed person look like all they want to do work harder, but the difference is that the depressed person only wants more work to keep busy; they aren’t concerned about the benefits of getting extra work completed.
The depressed person will often not want to deal with the outside world, or its responsibilities, not because she or he is lazy, but because any further pressure on their minds would be nearly unbearable. She or he will cancel plans and sometimes won’t show up because even calling to let a friend down is more pain to add. They might not even go grocery shopping or out for regular errands. This is highly possible if the person isn’t eating. While friends may think that the depressed person is pulling away from them, it’s not really why. The comfort of a bed or blanket may be all they have. This is when friends and family need to stop by and check in.
If you see these signs, don’t confront your friend. Use empathy instead. Visit and gently talk to him or her. You are the one that could change everything for your friend. If he or she needs treatment immediately take them to the nearest ER or call 911. Depression is a very serious condition. It is not to be taken lightly. There is no such thing as “a little depressed.” Make sure to address it at the proper level of care that it needs. Therapy, immediate treatment, whatever you can do to help your friend manage his or her depression is saving a life.