Depression affects millions of people worldwide, and this number only seems to be growing.
According to the World Health Organization, the number of people suffering from depression worldwide is a staggering 350 million people (almost as much as the whole of the U.S), but these are only people who have been diagnosed with depression, meaning there are still myriads of people who are silently depressed and refuse to ask for help due to various reasons.
There are even those who might be depressed without them knowing it, but mostly people are either embarrassed or feel uncomfortable expressing their feelings.
This is why you should always keep an eye on close ones and if you notice any of the symptoms below, do try to offer help as it may be indicative of silent depression.
1. Withdrawal From Activities, Work or School
Neglecting, or simply refusing to engage in activities is a telltale sign of silent depression as the condition takes up most of that person’s time, leaving no space for anything else.
Depressed individuals will find it hard to continue with ordinary daily activities and routines, and will compress their activities only to the most necessary ones like eating or going to the lavatory and will be careful that no one notices in the process as they do not feel like admitting they suffer from depression.
Depression leaves a person restless and anxious at the mercy of all sorts of dark thoughts – thoughts that will eventually weary that person and make even getting out of bed seem strenuous.
These thoughts of anguish and sheer unhappiness will result in a lack of appetite, trouble sleeping or oversleeping, and very little to no time to hang with friends.
3. Eating Too Much Or Too Little
Overeating or eating too little is a typical sign of depressed individuals and, according to Gary Kennedy, MD, director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY, “A sudden change in weight, either gaining or losing, can be a warning of depression, especially in someone who has other symptoms of depression or a history of depression.
4. Trouble Sleeping
WebMD writes that approximately 80% of adults with depression have trouble falling or staying asleep, and those who suffer from chronic insomnia are much more susceptible to depression than those without sleeping issues.
Researchers believe that finding a way to deal with insomnia can abate depression.
5. Substance Abuse
No surprise there. Unfortunately depression is oftentimes followed by the use of drugs or any other means to help the afflicted person escape the stressful reality and uneasy thoughts, but this could easily lead to addiction and serve to only further complicate things.
6. Feigning Emotions
Depressed individuals do not want to reveal their emotions to others out of fear of being judged. They will often make small talk and give laconic, vague answers, outwardly appear happy when in the company of others, all while under the thin veneer of depression.
They may seem distant and withdrawn but will do pretty much anything to keep their depression to themselves.
7. They Have Become a Workaholic
Paradoxically, both neglecting work and excessive work can be suggestive of depression. Depressed individuals see excessive work as a means of forgetting the exasperating and agonizing thoughts that follow them for days, weeks, even months on end.
So, if you happen to notice someone breaking their back or working more than they should, it could be a pointer to depression.