If you have experienced depression or know someone who has, then you will know how complex of an illness it is. Signs and symptoms vary from person to person, and it can often be hard for one to identify depression as the cause of these. Understanding some of the more subtle or hidden signs of depression that someone might be struggling with may help them seek treatment sooner.
People With Hidden Signs of Depression Can Display These 12 Symptoms
Depression is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Typically, it is characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. However, not everyone with depression displays obvious signs and symptoms. Some individuals experience hidden signs of depression, where they mask their emotions and keep their struggles concealed. Here are 12 symptoms that people with hidden depression can display. (1, 2)
1. Constant fatigue
Individuals with hidden depression often feel mentally and physically exhausted. They may have trouble sleeping or experience disturbed sleep patterns, leading to a constant state of tiredness.
2. Increased irritability
Hidden depression can manifest through heightened irritability and mood swings. These individuals may become easily agitated, lash out at others, or have a short temper, even in seemingly normal situations.
3. Social withdrawal
Those with hidden depression often isolate themselves from social activities and withdraw from their friends and family. They may make excuses to avoid gatherings or find it challenging to engage in conversations.
4. Unexplained physical complaints
People with hidden depression often report various physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, back pain, or generalized body aches. These complaints may not have a clear medical cause but are indicative of underlying emotional distress.
5. Changes in appetite
Hidden depression can cause significant changes in appetite. Some individuals may experience an increase in appetite and consequently gain weight, while others may have a decreased appetite and lose weight.
6. Sleep disturbances
Sleep problems are common among those with hidden depression. They may experience insomnia or have difficulty staying asleep throughout the night. On the other hand, some individuals may sleep excessively, using it as an escape from their emotional pain.
7. Difficulty concentrating
People with hidden depression often struggle with concentration and memory. Their ability to focus on tasks at hand may be impaired, leading to decreased productivity and poor performance in work or school.
8. Loss of interest
A notable symptom of depression is a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. Individuals with hidden depression may lose enthusiasm for hobbies, sports, or activities that used to bring them pleasure. They may also feel detached from their surroundings.
9. Emotional masking
Individuals with hidden depression become masters at hiding their true emotions. They may put on a brave face and appear happy or cheerful to the outside world, while internally struggling with intense sadness and despair.
Seeking perfection can be a coping mechanism for those with hidden depression. They may set unrealistically high standards for themselves and become overly critical when they inevitably fall short, exacerbating their feelings of self-doubt and hopelessness.
11. Escapist behaviors
People with hidden depression often turn to escapist behaviors to distract themselves from their emotions. This may include excessive use of social media, watching TV for hours on end, or engaging in substance abuse.
12. Low sex drive
The desire to have sex may decrease in those with hidden depression. This is believed to be linked to the feelings of low self-worth and hopelessness that come with the disorder. Their depression may also make it difficult for them to emotionally connect with their partner.
It is important to note that experiencing one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean someone has hidden depression. However, if you or someone you know does display these signs, it may be a good idea to seek professional help. Reaching out to a mental health professional can provide the necessary support and guidance in managing hidden depression.
Take Every Symptom Seriously
Remember, mental health should never be taken lightly, and everyone deserves compassion, understanding, and support on their journey towards healing. So, if you or someone you know is experiencing any of the above symptoms, please reach out to a mental health professional. They can provide the necessary support and guidance in managing hidden depression.
- “Recognizing the hidden signs of depression.” Medical News Today. Jayne Leonard. November 6, 2023.
- “8 Hidden Signs of Depression.” Psych Central. Hilary I. Lebow. May 29, 2021.