Motivation and Education

10 Shocking Signs of Depression You Didn’t Know About Until Now

Depression

Did you know that depression is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world? Depression can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition, vaping and smoking, addiction, loss and grief, life changes, and more! There are a variety of causes of depression and many symptoms that you may not immediately consider when you think of what constitutes this difficult condition.

Here are ten of the most shocking signs of depression that you might not have known about until now!

Dependency

Have you ever heard of dependency? If you’re familiar with addiction, you’ve likely heard it in reference to a drug or alcohol addiction. However, people can be dependent on other people as well. In fact, dependency on others is a large sign of depression.

When someone is depressed, they may feel like they’re not capable of taking care of themselves or their own life. If someone else offers support, they may latch on to that person tightly, in an ability to not have to focus on or feel their depression or feelings of negativity toward themselves.

Dependency can be distressing for the person feeling it and the person they’re dependent on. It can also turn into a co-dependent situation, where the other person also becomes dependent on them, which can cause feelings of pressure.

Addiction

Addiction isn’t a symptom of depression. It is its own condition. However, addiction can be caused by depression, and you’ll often see them hand-in-hand. Since depression often comes with deep periods of sadness, numbness, and irritability, many people will turn to substances to feel happy again. Unfortunately, these substances often cause depression to worsen.

Anger

You may only see depression as a condition that causes sadness. However, depression is simply a lack of happiness and prolonged periods of difficult emotions. These emotions can include anger. If you’re dealing with depression, you may feel angry at the fact that you don’t feel happy anymore. You may also feel angry that your brain is different or that you need the support of medication to feel good.

If this is the case, a therapist may help. You can read more about depression on BetterHelp, and learn more about online therapy options.

Numbness

Depression isn’t always about feeling something. Many people who are depressed report feeling numb or without feelings at all. Numbness may even be the sign of a dissociative issue, so if you find yourself feeling numb, not real, or not able to discern reality, speak to a medical provider as soon as possible. Often, depression and long periods of sadness can cause you to feel like you’re numb because you can’t remember feeling another feeling other than sadness. This experience is also normal.

Dissociation

Dissociation is the experience of feeling like you’re “out of your body” or “spacing out” for long periods of time. It’s often connected to trauma but can also happen with depression, especially if you’ve been in bed for many days or haven’t been able to leave home. You may even experience paranoia or hallucinations after many days of dissociation. In this case, it’s best to reach out to a psychologist or speak to a doctor.

Difficulty Making Decisions

Depression can also impact your mental clarity. It’s not only focused on emotions. Often, feeling sad for a long time can cause people to get what is called “brain fog.” Brain fog makes your head “cloudy” and makes it difficult to focus, make decisions, or understand what you’re being told. If this sounds like you, mental clarity exercises might help. It’s also good to try to get outside as much as possible to clear your head and focus on something else.

Being Clumsier Than Usual

Surprisingly enough, depression can make you clumsier and can cause you to fall! Since depression can make you not care as much about your well-being, you may not be paying as much attention to your surroundings or trying to keep yourself safe. That can cause you to accidentally trip if you’re not careful. Make sure to walk with someone else if you’re prone to falling.

Not Sleeping

We often hear of depression causing people to sleep a lot. Although that can happen, insomnia is a less-talked-about phenomenon with depression. Not sleeping is common with people who are feeling down because you may be having racing thoughts or anxiety along with your depression. Insomnia can also come out of nowhere, and some people need medication to treat its symptoms entirely.

Physical Symptoms

Mental health conditions can cause physical symptoms as well. Depression is no outlier. You may notice the following physical symptoms of depression:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach issues (gas, acid reflux)
  • Getting sick more often
  • Feeling generally “unwell”
  • Pain in the stomach or chest
  • Back pain

All of these physical symptoms can also be symptoms of something else, so always consult with a medical professional before assuming it is because of your depression.

Eating More Than Usual

Depression can also cause people to eat more (or less) than normal. Some people may feel the urge to eat to alleviate depression. Often, this mental health condition can make you feel like you’re craving something but don’t know what. That feeling often drives us to overeat, which can make you feel more depressed, especially if you’re eating processed foods.

Instead, try eating light snacks and meals that contain the following:

  • Lots of vitamin D and B
  • Milk (as long as you’re not lactose intolerant)
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Healthy grains

You should avoid red meat, bread, processed snacks, microwave popcorn, heavy salt amounts, and greasy, oily foods.

Remember, your gut health can actually improve your mental health if it’s in good shape! Of course, it’s not a cure for depression, but speaking to a nutritionist can help you come up with an eating plan and food diary for yourself that can help you feel at least a little bit better!

Conclusion

At the end of the day, depression is difficult for anyone who struggles with it, regardless of the symptoms they may feel. If you are experiencing five or more of the symptoms on this list, it may be time to speak to a psychologist about what you’re going through. Remember, psychologists exist online and in-person these days, and you can tailor your therapy to your needs!

NOTE: This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

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