There are depression symptoms that are obvious to most of us. Signs that makes us realize that maybe there’s something not quite right and we might need help. So you go to the doctor because you have the suspicion that you probably suffer from depression. And while they take their notes, there’s the usual questioning that goes a lot like this:
“Do you have trouble sleeping: staying asleep or falling asleep or sleeping too much?”
“Have you lost interest in things you loved to do?”
“Are you sad most of the time?”
“Do you feel tired most of the time?”
“Changes in appetite?”
“Any thoughts about harming yourself or others?” (This one kills me. What do you think, doctor?)
If you answer yes to most of this questions, then they decide that you might be suffering from depression, they prescribe you medication and off you go to buy those happy pills.
However, there are symptoms that are not-so-obvious to you or others around you. Signals that we overlooked because we get used to dealing with them daily, and they end up becoming our “normal”. You could spend months, or years, functioning like this, thinking this is the “norm”. Recognizing these less common symptoms might be a challenge, because they become part of who we are, of our daily routines.
I’m not an expert, but I write from own experience and what I’ve observed from friends suffering from depression. I encourage you to take note of these things and analyse them, research them and reach out for professional help if needed.
This might not be as uncommon as you think, but it’s easily overlooked by many. It’s not normal to wake up feeling irritable, like anything can trigger you anytime soon.
When you feel angry and you just can’t let go, or everything people do or say you take it personal, then know that this is not normal. Walking around feeling like Harry in the Order of the Phoenix is an exhausting way to live, and definitely a red flag that something is wrong.
Having a hard time staying positive.
When you have trouble looking at the bright side of anything, and instead you think that everything will go wrong because you’re a failure or you don’t deserve good things happening to you. It’s hard for you to think that anything will go right, or that you lack reasons to be happy.
If you can immediately list a 100 reasons why you’re unhappy, but you have trouble finding 100 reasons why you’re happy, then it’s possible depression might be lurking around your brain.
Inability to focus.
Are you one of those people that has trouble following a movie because you keep getting distracted by your loud thoughts? I know I am. The next day don’t ask me much about it because I probably won’t remember. And I don’t do it on purpose, it’s just some days it’s hard for me to focus on anything.
This is particularly annoying when you’re in class or at work, but no matter how much you try, your mind gets louder and you’re left staring at the person, looking absent minded. You have to put so much effort into paying attention that at the end you might end up with a headache.
Trouble making decisions.
For some reason making a decision feels like when you’re having a nightmare, and you try to scream or run but nothing happens. No matter how hard you try the words don’t come out of your mouth. Your legs won’t move.
That’s your brain trying to make a decision in real life, for some reason you just can’t. And the pressure other people put on you makes it even harder. If this happens way too often, then yes, it’s a sign too.
When daily routine seems like too much work.
Getting dressed, taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting out of bed-these things should happen automatically. Your daily routine shouldn’t feel like a challenge, but when you’re depressed it feels like climbing a mountain. You just can’t help but say “it’s so much work!”, when it shouldn’t be.
Just the thought of all the things you have to do to prepare yourself for the day leaves you exhausted. That could be an indication that maybe you’re operating under a gray cloud.
You overthink everything.
Constant rumination is a bad habit. When it comes to important matters, it’s normal to overthink because we care about the consequences. However, if you find yourself daily overthinking past, present or future situations then that could be a red flag.
When you think thoroughly about what to reply to a text, when you think so much about the outcomes that you end up feeling overwhelmed, when you’re drowning in guilt over past choices, when you already made a decision, but constantly change your mind so you go back and forth between decisions, these are all caused by rumination.
It’s fine to overthink once in a while, but make it a daily habit? Nuh-uh.
You get obsessed over habits or have excessive behaviors.
Picking up extra hours at work? You find yourself scrolling down social media sites for hours? Binge-watching Netflix series often? Working out excessively? Online shopping way too much?
While these might not seem harmful, they all have one thing in common: they keep your mind distracted. It’s like you’re running away from you own thoughts. If you’re not busy, you’ll be aware of your thoughts and emotions and that makes you feel uncomfortable, therefore you’ll do anything to keep your mind occupied.
When you’re not depressed you should be able to sit in silence and not go crazy. You shouldn’t feel hopelessness nor sadness. But if you find yourself engaging in habits that at the end you just do to keep yourself busy, consider that as a red flag.
Stay aware, pineapples!