Life is full of ups-and-downs.
We all have good days where life feels fantastic, and bad days where it feels like the world is out to get us!
For people suffering from depression, the bad days overwhelmingly outweigh the good.
Individuals suffering from depression usually have very obvious symptoms which tell them that something is not right with their mental health.
However, that is not always the case.
Depression can be a very insidious disease that gradually sneaks up on a person — slowly affecting their health and lifestyle in unexpected ways.
This article will share some of these unusual symptoms to help you understand if you have depression without knowing it.
What is depression?
Depression is a common mental health disorder that causes a person to have a depressed mood and to lose interest in the activities they normally enjoy.
It can be a debilitating condition that affects a person’s ability to work and enjoy their life.
Most depressed people will often feel anxious, sad, guilty, and hopeless.
They may also suffer from a variety of physical symptoms including insomnia and changes in appetite.
Depression is a dangerous condition that can contribute to a variety of physical illnesses and increase the risk of suicide.
Signs you may be suffering from depression without knowing it
Here are 5 signs that could mean you are depressed or at risk of depression without knowing it.
These symptoms are often mistakenly associated with other health conditions or incorrectly considered to be a “normal” part of life.
Constantly feeling tired
It is normal to feel exhausted after a long day at work or a busy weekend.
However, if you constantly feel tired for no apparent reason, it may be related to depression.
Depression has a wide range of symptoms include somatic (physical) symptoms like fatigue.
If you are depressed, you may still feel tired even after you have had a good night’s sleep.
You may also notice that you lack the energy to do things that you previously enjoyed, like going out to dinner or playing sports.
Disrupted sleep patterns
Many people struggle to get to sleep occasionally.
However, if your sleep patterns have dramatically changed over the past few months, it may be related to depression.
Depression can change your sleep patterns in a number of ways:
- It may be harder to get to sleep
- You don’t get to enjoy a really deep sleep
- The total amount of time you spend sleeping each night is reduced
- You awake multiple times during the night and find it difficult to get back to sleep again
- You wake up early in the morning, but can’t get back to sleep again even if you are tired
In some cases, the opposite can occur with some people sleeping much longer than normal (often more than 12 or 14 hours).
Researchers believe that these changes may occur because depressed often have high levels of “stress hormones” in their bodies.
These hormones can disrupt a person’s sleep patterns.
A loss of interest in the activities you normally enjoy
It is perfectly normal for the activities you enjoy to change over time.
Everyone become bored with exercising or socialising in the same way all of the time.
However, if you have completely lost the desire to exercise, socialise with friends, or have sex it is a sign that you may be depressed.
Unreasonable levels of irritability or anger
Depression can change a person’s mood and temperament.
If you were previously a relatively calm person but have sudden found yourself frustrated, irritable or angry — it may be caused by depression.
Ask your loved ones if they have noticed any changes in your behaviour in recent months.
If they think your temperament has changed dramatically, it may be related to depression.
Trouble concentrating, thinking, and making decisions
Depression can interfere with brain function, potentially affecting your attention span, memory, decision making skills, information processing and executive function.
If you or a love one notices that your cognitive function has declined in recent months, it could be a sign of depression.
Getting help for your depression
If you believe you may have depression, it is important to seek out help as soon as possible.
There are many options available including:
Talk to a medical professional
Speak to a general practitioner, therapist, psychologist or another type of medical professional.
They will ask you some questions and determine if you are actually suffering from depression or not.
Talk to your friends and family
In many cases, your friends and family will be the first ones to notice that you are not your normal self.
Talk to them about the way you are feeling and ask if they have seen any changes in your behaviour recently.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to friend and family or your symptoms persist, talk to a medical professional.
Seek help from an organisation
There are many excellent organisations in the United Kingdom which help people with depression.
They will answer any questions you have, help you determine if you are depressed, and provide you with additional useful resources.