9 Common But Little-Known Signs And Symptoms Of Depression To Pay Attention To

Date May 3, 2018 16:58

Part of the reason why many people don’t seek help for depression is that they stopped caring about themselves, but another common reason for not getting help is inability to recognize the condition. Most people associate depression with sadness or apathy. But depression may show in many other, lesser-known ways, such as headaches and back pain, or eating too much, among other things.

Learn about the unusual signs and behaviors which may be symptoms of depression but are rarely recognized as such.

READ ALSO: Depression And Bipolar Disorder: 5 Key Differences Between The Two Conditions

9 surprising signs and symptoms of depression

Here are nine signs of depression few people know about:

1. Anger and irritability

While some people are more likely to have "classic" symptoms of depression, such as sadness and listlessness, others tend to become more snappy. So feeling uncharacteristically grumpy and lashing out at family, friends, and coworkers may not be just a fault in character.

2. Perfectionism

The need to do everything perfectly and to arrange one's surroundings accordingly is normal on its own, but in depressed people, perfectionism usually stems from self-criticism and self-doubt. One good example of such behavior is checking your work too many times out of fear there's a mistake or the work is not good enough.

3. Spending too much time on the internet

Depressed people may become uninterested in the real world around them and try to entertain themselves in the virtual one, especially by spending much of their time on social media.

4. Unexplained aches and pains

Headaches, muscle aches, or back pain with no obvious cause may be a sign of depression. These symptoms may be so common in depressed people because depression is thought to amplify the perception of pain.

5. Brain fog

Serotonin is a brain chemical which is thought to play a role in regulating your mood and helping you focus and remember. Depression has been linked to low levels of serotonin. So, not only are you sad or apathetic when you are depressed, but your memory, thinking, and concentration also suffer, making you feel like your brain is in a haze.

READ ALSO: Dysthymia: It's Not A Fault In Character But A Legitimate Mental Illness

6. Sleepiness

Sleeping more than you usually do but still lacking energy is a common yet often overlooked sign of depression. Unusual sleepiness may stem from an imbalance of certain brain chemicals seen in depression or just from a lack of interest in other activities.

7. Excess drinking and eating

About a third of people with depression drink alcohol in excess, studies show. Those who are depressed are also prone to binge-eating, especially indulging in comfort foods. Excess drinking and eating, in this case, is an attempt to suppress negative feelings and lift one's mood, but the effect is only temporary, as the underlying problem remains unaddressed.

8. Reckless sexual behavior

For depressed people, it's more common to lose interest in sex. But some people with depression use sex trying to elevate their self-esteem and to feel excited. Also, those suffering from depression may stop caring about themselves and others, and start to engage in risky sexual activities, such as sex with multiple partners and unprotected sex. This behavior is also often seen in bipolar people experiencing an episode of mania.

9. Self-neglect

As we mentioned above, depressed people may stop caring about themselves, and it may manifest in uncharacteristic sloppiness. Someone who is depressed may start to shower and brush his or her teeth less often and generally spend less time on grooming.

Showing just one of these signs doesn’t necessarily indicate depression, but a combination of symptoms and behaviors listed above may mean it’s time to see a therapist.

Source: Prevention Magazine, Redbook Magazine, WebMD

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.