Depression is a very serious mood disorder. It’s not just about feeling sad, or down, or unenthusiastic about everything; it’s much deeper than that. It affects the way you think, the way you act, and the way you go about doing the most basic daily tasks: eating, sleeping, or working. People with depression have to deal with anxiety and crippling panic attacks, feelings of worthlessness and self-loathing, extreme loneliness, and suicidal thoughts.
Countless lives have been unnecessarily lost due to this devastating disorder, which is why it’s very important to finally lift the taboo surrounding mental illness. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for help: we are all human and everyone needs a hand at one point or another. You’re not alone, reach out to your family and friends, or seek professional aid. There are so many people just like you all around the world: depression doesn’t discriminate. You can be rich and famous, and have everything you could possibly want and still have suicidal tendencies. Just remember, whoever you are, you’re amazing, and you’re loved, and ending your life doesn’t stop the pain, it just passes it on to someone else.
This is why we need to raise awareness about this disorder. It’s difficult, but if we can learn to recognise its symptoms sooner rather than later, we will have time to act on them and many lives might be saved. Here are 8 symptoms that may mean you’re suffering from depression, courtesy of Aunty Acid. If you notice them, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
1. They make a big show of being happy
Often it’s the people who seem the happiest who on the inside are suffering and dealing with depression. Perhaps acting cheerful and carefree is their way of hiding the pain they’re feeling. But if you sit down with them and have an honest conversation, you may find out that things aren’t always as they seem.
2. They stop having pride in their appearance
When you’re depressed sometimes it’s hard to find it in yourself to care about what you look like. And not only do you stop paying attention to your personal hygiene, sometimes this indifference extends to your home as well. So if you have a friend who once was known for being neat and tidy, and now you see that they are quite messy, this could mean that they’re depressed.
3. They’re full of excuses
If someone always has an excuse for being unable to come someplace with you, or if they cancel plans at the last minute after weeks of looking forward to them, it could be a symptom of depression. It’s much easier coming up with a sudden emergency than to admit you’re not feeling up to partying because you’re too depressed.
4. They obsess over one topic or event
The fact that a person keeps on coming back to one specific topic or event could be an indication of depression. Their thoughts could be latching onto one single thing and going over and over it in their head, which is why they keep talking about it without actually doing anything to remedy the situation.
5. They don’t react to situations
Being depressed sometimes means that your feelings are dulled and muted. And you may notice a person close to you not reacting to things as you’d expect, for example, if they seem unaffected when faced with a loss, or if they don’t find anything funny anymore when before they used to laugh all the time.
6. Their productivity level changes suddenly
If a workaholic all of a sudden becomes lazy and stops caring about their work, or if a carefree person out of nowhere becomes stressed and extremely busy, it could be a sign of depression. This unexpected change of attitude could be the result of an attempt to escape from their own thoughts and to find meaning in their life.
7. They’re suddenly philosophical
Depression can also bring out a more philosophical side in people. They could start to think and talk about the meaning of life, or the universe, using very abstract or vague terms. This might mean it’s time for a conversation about their feelings.
8. Psychosomatic illnesses
Depression can also lead to feeling pain without medical cause. People suffering from this disorder could feel pain in their chest and head, have problems breathing, and feel tension in their hands and legs, but when examined by a doctor no physical cause can be determined. This makes them feel even worse, leading to more pain and the creation of a vicious cycle.