April 03, 2019

Healthy Mama || Signs Of Depression

Healthy Mama || Collaborative Post

If you think you or someone close to you may be suffering from depression but maybe isn't showing the more common signs of the illness, then it's well worth finding out about a few of the less obvious symptoms of depression that we often ignore. There is a lot of help and advice out there and I've added some useful links and numbers at the end of this article for anyone needing  a helping hand or a listening ear. I thought I'd share a few of the less common signs though, as I myself have not considered these to be symptoms in the past and some are often just thought as normal 'life', when actually even these things can be big signals of something more, needing some care and attention.

When we think of depression, we tend to think of people being 'depressed', a term which is very over used (much like anxiety) by people simply feeling a bit down or fed up. Although this tends to be what people look for, people can in actual fact appear to be maintaining a pretty happy demeanor, when actually we feel we're dying a little inside. It's especially common to keep up appearances like this if we have a job to keep or children to look after.

Often when people feel sad, they can easily make changes to their lives, or take a break to alleviate the sadness. When it comes to depression though, there is a degree of hopelessness that we can't control. We could have the BEST lives, with everything and everyone around us that we could wish for, but still be ill with depression. Luckily people seem to be more open with discussing mental health issues now, so it's beginning to be a bit more understood as an illness and not just a temporary state of mind that we should pull ourselves up from. For a little extra help, sites like BetterHelp.com are ready and waiting with advice and information related to mental health issues.

Less obvious signs

Changing habits/acting unusually

Taking up drinking, being more aggressive, being short tempered, snappy, having a lowered or increased sex drive and all kinds of things that are just out of character for you. You can't control these things, or urges and you maybe don't even know why or realise you're doing it.

Always seeing the negative

Some of us are naturally more negative or cautious and that's not always a bad thing. Often with depression though, you can pretty much eliminate all positives, you may thing everyone is out to get you and everything is dangerous or threatening. Everything may just seem bleak, pointless, hopeless and on hearing pretty much any news, we may be quick to point out or at least think of the negatives that will no doubt (but probably not in reality) unfold. We always see the negatives and avoid people, places and things that will just bring bad things with it.

Unnecessary guilt

We all feel guilt to an extent and quite often we needn't. It's very British of us to apologise and be polite in situations, but with depression sometimes everything just IS your fault because you feel you are useless, worthless and hopeless so are probably to blame. This cycle of blame can be very serious and is really just a way of self harming mentally that shouldn't be ignored.

Striving for the unachievable

Striving for an unachievable perfection that is impossible to complete, that ultimately sets us up for failure. Punishing ourselves overly for making mistakes and punishing ourselves for our failures, even though we could never have really achieved it in the first place. This is such an easy cycle to get stuck in, but with a little help and learning to reshuffle these thoughts, we can break through it and learn that failing can be OK and to set targets we can realistically achieve. Small achievable goals are far more rewarding that failing to achieve greater ones.


This is a big issue all by itself of course, but it doesn't always come in the usual forms of drink and drugs, though that is common for those with depression and should be helped with. Needing the feeling of escapism with drink or drugs, starting smoking, or even binge eating all because in that instance we just don't care about the consequences.

Physical symptoms

These symptoms are very common, but often brushed off as a simple deficiency or being tired. Physical symptoms like chronic pain, extreme tiredness, muscle spasms and head aches can all be different ways for depression to manifest itself.

Needing to escape reality

You may find yourself glued to social media, obsessing over others lives on TV. You may fantasize about others lives or just have the urge to run away, be someone else, or forget yourself. Although we all do this to some extent, with depression this kind of thinking can spiral badly if left untreated. At some point we can even thing of ending it for the ultimate escape, because we genuinely don't think anyone would miss us. This just isn't true whoever you are and if you feel yourself slipping into this way of thinking, please get help or call the Samaritans now (116 123).

Weight changes

I'm not talking about a few extra Christmas pounds or cracking on with the hot cross buns this Easter, but actually seriously piling on the pounds, binge eating or having no appetite and dropping a lot of weight without effort. These changes in weight and food relationships can indicate someone could have depression and there is help out there wherever you're at, so don't be embarrassed and see your GP for the next step.

Neglecting Yourself

Without realising it, when we're suffering from depression our self care regime can well and truly go out the window. You may stop washing or brushing hair, cleaning your teeth, avoiding showers etc. This is something that you may even not realise you're doing until it's noticed by someone else or you read something like this and start thinking you may be doing these things. So if you know someone that seems to be letting themselves go all of a sudden, please don't write them off as being lazy or dirty, but instead consider that there may be deeper issues at play and offer a listening ear.

Feeling confused, indecisive, unable to concentrate

We can feel totally frazzled by depression. You may have had ample sleep but still struggle to feel awake mentally. You may find your mind drifting off to nowhere, get confused easily, lose your words or find it hard to make decisions.

Along with the usual symptoms such as feeling low and losing pleasure in things you'd usually enjoy, these symptoms can also point in the direction of depression. You may experience and combination of these symptoms and although it may not always lead to a diagnosis of depression, it's always worth mentioning anything new or out of character to your health professional. Never ever feel ashamed or embarrassed as I can guarantee they will have heard it many times before. There's so much help out there, so keep trying if you haven't had luck before or need to help point a loved one in the right direction. If it's someone else you're worried about, it's not always easy having that conversation, but having that conversation may just save their life. Remember that mental health issues affect all ages, genders and people from all walks of life, there is no shame and lots of support available.

For more help and advice with depression or other mental health issues, here's some great ideas of people to contact, as well as speaking to your regular GP and opening up to friends and family if you can.

The Samaritans: 116 123

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