Depression is a diverse disorder that presents itself in many different forms depending on the person. Not every depression symptom is exhibited in someone. Nor does anyone fit the clinical mold of what depression should look like.
It’s not just about feeling ‘down’ and having a loss of interest in everyday activities you once loved. This disorder is full of uncommon symptoms that many people do not display.
Because of this, these uncommon symptoms of depression may be ignored and not treated properly. The sooner you recognize all the signs and symptoms of depression, the sooner you can begin feeling like yourself again.
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1. You’re Short-Tempered
There’s times where everyone becomes short-tempered or irritable when we have an occasional bad day. But irritability takes on a whole new form when it becomes more of a constant feeling you can’t control.
Irritability is simply the tendency to become upset quickly.
While we all know someone who just seems constantly on edge and gets upset easily, irritability is displayed differently when the root of the cause is depression. If you find yourself short-tempered lately when you normally are not easily upset then this is a sign of depression.
It’s easy to become upset over certain situations like not getting a job promotion or receiving a parking ticket. But irritability linked to depression will cause you to react suddenly in anger or sadness.
2. You’ve Stopped Caring About Your Appearance
Self-care is a major component of who we are as humans. We all need to meet basic needs of self-care like bathing, brushing our teeth and combing our hair. But a self-care routine can become interrupted if you’re dealing with depression.
If you’ve found yourself neglecting self-care practices, it’s just one of the uncommon symptoms of depression.
Although it’s an uncommon symptom, it’s not unheard of. Depression causes a lack of motivation to complete simple everyday tasks like self-care.
But a decrease is self-care is only making things worse when it comes to depression.
3. You’re Indecisive
Do you find yourself having troubles making decisions?
Even simple decisions like staying home or going out or what to order at a restaurant become difficult with depression.
That’s because depression tends to cloud your mind causing feelings of being overwhelmed. Sometimes even simple everyday decisions could be paralyzing for some individuals.
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4. You feel “Numb”
When you feel numb, you feel blah or nothing. This is not a feeling that can always be explained.
But when you feel numb, you know it.
This feeling is more than just a loss of interest in activities you once loved.
Instead of feeling sad about a movie that normally brings tears to your eyes, you feel nothing.
Another situation may normally invoke anger, but not with depression. Instead you feel indifference. To your friends and family you may come off as cold or distant. But your just feeling numb or ‘bluh’ about everyday situations and life in general.
5. You’re Bored
If you feeling a sense of boredom, your feeling a loss of interest in things you once loved.
Boredom with depression may go hand and hand with having troubles concentrating and making decisions. If you can’t stay focused long enough on one activity, that activity you normally love becomes uninteresting.
For example: TV shows you once loved, you now find dull and no longer hold your attention. Therefore, you switch to watching half an hour tv shows with little educational substance. These require little focus and hold your attention for a short time.
6. You Have Increased Aches & Pains
This is also known as a somatic symptom. Somatic symptoms are simply physical symptoms that are associated with disorders like depression.
It’s estimated that 75% of individuals with depression report pain symptoms. According to the Canadian journal called Pain, people with depression are at a four times high risk of having neck and lower back pain. It’s important to note that individuals feeling the physical effects of depression (and other disorders) are not faking physical symptoms.
These uncommon symptoms of depression can be felt at anytime, day or night. Aches and pains are felt differently by each individual. Some people complain of leg pain, aches in the shoulders or an all over muscle sensitivity.
Other physical symptoms include digestive issues, stomach cramping, and muscle stiffness. But why are aches and pains related to uncommon symptoms of depression?
While there are many theories, a 2008 study conducted by the Archives of General Psychiatry discovered the following:
Individuals with depression anticipate pain better. Therefore, their brain activity is less able to cope with pain.
Another reason for increased pain levels in conjunction with other symptoms of depression is because those individuals are more tuned into their bodily aches and pains.
Because depression puts you in a constant negative state of mind, you’re less likely to tolerate aches and pains.
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7. You’ve Gained Weight
With an increase in depression can come an increase in weight. Although some people experience weight loss with depression, others gain weight.
If you keep reaching for extra binge worthy indulgences like ice cream, there may be an underlying cause of depression.
Those who are depressed tend to reach for what is considered “comfort foods.” That’s because comfort food increase levels of the brain chemical serotonin. By eating more comfort foods, serotonin is released causing an increase in happiness.
However, comfort foods and the increased flood of serotonin is a double edged sword.
Overtime, sneaking comfort foods develops into emotional eating to feel better. But this is only temporary. Once the serotonin wears off, you’re left with guilt over eating too much unhealthy food. Emotional eating will not help other symptoms of depression.
8. You’re Drinking More
You’re no longer just reaching for a cup of tea or a soda after work. Alcohol now plays a row in the way you cope with deeper depressive feelings.
While you may not be able to pinpoint exactly why you’re drinking, alcohol consumption has definitely increased as of late.
If your drinking has gone beyond social drinking, you may be covering up other symptoms of depression. Drinking can take a violent turn though. Alcohol doesn’t help depression, it only aids it.
If you’re drinking to cover up emotions, than alcohol will only aid and prolong depression.
For those without depression, drinking alcohol can actually cause a substance-induced depression.
Symptoms of depression are often times not what people think. To recognize depression whither oneself, people are told to look for excessive and constant sadness and thoughts of suicide.
Although these a re clear red flags for depression, not everyone exhibits these signs.
Depression is a complex disorder. Not every person will experience all the same symptoms, nor for the same reasons. But if there’s one thing about depression that occurs in many individuals, it is this:
Depression sneaks up on you!
You never wake up one day and realize you’re in the thick of depression. Symptoms of depression come on slow overtime.
That’s why it can be hard to recognize depression early on.
But if you are experiencing one or all of the above symptoms, it’s time to reach out to a healthcare professional to seek help for depression. You don’t have to suffer alone with these hidden depression symptoms.
With the right help and treatment you can begin to enjoy life again!