When you think about the word “depression”, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Is it sadness? While this is one component, there are many other less obvious symptoms that may not initially register in your mind as signs of depression. According to the DSM-5, there are several types of depressive disorders and different criteria for each. Feeling sad isn't the only symptom. Read on to learn about sneaky symptoms of depression.
1. Lack of pleasure in activities that you used to enjoy. Things that previously brought you happiness now feel hollow. The hobbies you participated in now feel “meh”.
2. Lack of motivation. Depression can decrease motivation to perform necessary activities such as paying bills, going to work, and even showering.
3. Social withdrawal. You may stop returning texts or make excuses to get out of social invitations. This behavior may develop because of the exhaustion that depression brings or even feeling like you're bringing everyone else down.
4. Sleep disturbance. Depression can cause both insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep) and hypersomnia (sleeping too much).
5. Fatigue; feeling weighed down. Depression can feel like you're wearing heavy weights on your body – imagine you had to do that during your day-to-day activities. You’d become fatigued relatively quickly.
6. Poor concentration. Another sign of depression is feeling like you cannot think straight or make decisions.
Have you experienced some of these sneakier symptoms of depression? It's important to note that some of these symptoms are not exclusive to depression and can be explained by a number of mental health or medical problems. Getting a proper diagnosis is important.
Depression is complex and affects each individual in different ways. However, if you have noticed that you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional is one of the steps you can take to get some relief from your symptoms. Talk therapy can provide a safe space to talk about your feelings, as well as teach you coping skills to work through your symptoms.
A final note: If you are thinking about suicide, you need immediate professional help. You can call 911, walk into your local emergency room, or even call a crisis hotline. Also please remember that you can talk to a therapist about your suicidal thoughts without fear that you will be put into a hospital against your will. Mental health professionals will only seek hospitalization for you if they assess you and determine that you are at imminent risk of following through with a suicide attempt.