(Thank you to Sarah from Clarity4thesoul for this contribution.)
Do you know someone who you think might be suffering from depression? Maybe you just need a moment to reflect on someone you care about. There has long since been a stigma around all mental illnesses. But let’s change that! The fact that it is so very common is all the more reason not to hide or be ashamed of it. It may not be that they have depression. In that case, wonderful! But if they were to be, you just might be able to help them.
But first, what is depression?
Depression is a mental illness that profoundly affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act in a negative way. Depression causes feelings of sadness, hopelessness and has major effects on your life. Everyone feels bad at some point, but “depression” or “major depressive disorder” occurs when these feelings persist for long periods of time. Want to know the good news? Luckily, it can be treated. It doesn’t need to last forever. It in no way makes you a weak person. They key for success in overcoming this is having the mindset of “What do I do next”? Rather than staying in a dark circle.
If someone is in a wheelchair and unable to walk, you can clearly see it. If someone is blind and has a Seeing Eye dog, you can clearly see and recognize it. The ironic thing with all mental illnesses is that it’s below the surface, it’s not something that you automatically see when you look at a person. Even someone who bears a huge smile and laughs along at everyone’s jokes, or even produces the jokes themselves could have something underlying that you know nothing about. It is something that is hidden and often times something that people don’t talk about.
Maybe they don’t want to burden you with their problems, maybe they feel embarrassed to speak up and disclose how they really feel deep down inside. The saying “never judge a book by its cover” could never be truer than what it is today. 1 in 4 people in the world have had or will have some type of mental illness in their lifetime. Around 450 million people currently suffer from a mental illness. That number is huge.
With huge numbers like that, there is no doubt you would know someone who does or has suffered from depression. Maybe it could even be yourself and you don’t even realize. You might have a loved one, and often wonder “why do they do that?” or “what are they always like this?” Some of the signs could be underlying depression.
What are some of the undercover signs of depression, the ones that aren’t so obvious?
Someone that is always so tired
Yeah sometimes it could be they have had a hard day at work or have been super busy and are tired, but if this tiredness is ongoing and all the time without any probable cause even after going to see a doctor, it could actually be underlying depression. Depression leaves you with this empty feeling, you’re so mentally exhausted, you just don’t want to do anything but sleep.
An extremely bubbly over the top personality
Believe it or not, some of the bubbliest outgoing people actually suffer from depression. For example, Robin Williams, one of the greatest comedians ever. Always making people laugh, but underneath this huge funny personality laid depression. The reason for some people being over the top while having depression is because of trying to over compensate or even hide or mask their depression. They try to make other people happy all the time so nobody notices how sad they are or because they feel so depressed and they may not want anyone else to feel that way. This may, or not be a sign of depression.
Self-Medicating / destructive behaviors
Some people might just like drinking for the fun of it, but if you notice someone suddenly changes attitude or seems to be going overboard, alarm bells might start ringing. This could consist of always having one too many drinks at dinner, or doing drugs. Even taking pain medications. Gambling. The self-medicating and destructive behaviours is used to mask their true inner feelings so that they don’t feel their natural state. For example with gambling, they may put all their energy into it only focusing on that to avoid how they actually feel. These could be signs of depression.
Generally, a happy person doesn’t go around having temper tantrums and lashing out at strangers or especially the ones they love. Underneath anger lays hurt. If you think about the last time you got angry, you will see that you were actually hurt. So, if you peel back the layers underneath the angry outbursts, it could be a sign of underlying depression.
Some of these signs may have surprised you, mental illness isn’t always as obvious as you may have thought. If you think someone you love is suffering from depression, please talk to them with no judgement. Sometimes lending your ear to someone could be just what they need.
If you liked this post, don’t hesitate to give it a thumbs up and to leave a comment! This is really to open up the discussion about such issues – the more accessible the conversation is, the more we can make our society breathe better.
Again, a big thank you to one of our contributors, Sarah from Clarity4thesoul.
If you’d like to become a contributor as well, send us a message here!
On this note, PEACE!