We often have an image in our mind of how we think depression looks. We know that prolonged periods of sadness and hopelessness are the textbook symptoms of this insidious mental problem. But there’s much more to depression than you might realize at first. In this post, we’re going to look first at some of those more subtle signs of depression. Then we’ll share how you may be able to reclaim your life if you’re starting to slide into a depressive slump.
Subtle Outward Signs of Depression
Many symptoms of depression are the kinds of things that people can keep to themselves. They can hide them from others and “pretend” that everything is perfectly fine. But other signs can be a little more outward. We’re going to look at these signs below.
Being a Perfectionist
If you’ve been keeping up with research around depression, you’ve likely heard about this connection before. Research – especially recent data – suggests that a perfectionist’s “all or nothing” approach to the world around them actually maybe like depression. Specifically, it seems like perfectionism may be linked to developing depression over a span of time.
Researchers believe that self-esteem has a key role to play in this relationship, too. Generally, perfectionists with low self-esteem think they must be “perfect” to just be acceptable. They believe that messing up isn’t just a symptom of being human (spoiler alert: it is). Instead, they see any failure, no matter how small, as one of their personal defects or flaws.
Lashing Out at Others
Researchers have long associated irritability and anger with “unipolar depressive episodes.” That’s science-speak for being really depressed and never entering a manic state (as one would if they were bipolar). It makes sense when you think about it logically. If you’re feeling completely lost and hopeless, it’s easy to lash out at other people who aren’t feeling that way. “Why are they bothering me? If only they knew how bad it really was.”
It’s interesting to note that hostility or irritability usually arises from depression when there’s another condition joining in. Anxiety is a common culprit here. If your friends or family have noticed you lashing out and brought it to your attention, think about where that might be coming from.
This is probably one of the best-known symptoms of depression (or any mental health issue) on this list. However, self-medication is particularly prevalent for those suffering from depression because depression features addiction as one of its comorbidities. That means people who are depressed are more likely to drink, smoke, and do illegal drugs anyway, which acts as a force multiplier when added to self-medication.
One other big challenge about self-medicating with depression is that it works – at least in the short term. If you’re depressed and self-medicate, you’ll begin feeling better as your symptoms recede, leaving you feeling happy. The problem with this is that the feeling of happiness is temporary and quickly fades. And when it does, you’re left with even worse symptoms than when you started. If you’re the kind of person who self-medicates with alcohol, consider one of these substitutes we’ve written about previously instead.
Difficulty Paying Attention
Here’s one lesser-known symptom that can be associated with depression. Generally, we associate trouble paying attention with other mental issues, namely ADHD. However, it can also manifest as a sign of depression, too. This can make it difficult for those who display this symptom, leading them to be misdiagnosed by those who are trying to help them.
One factor that triggers this difficulty paying attention is “ruminating.” It’s an unintentional sort of anti-meditation where those suffering from depression focus on things like things they regret doing or are worried about having to do. This takes up a sizeable portion of mental bandwidth, contributing to this lack of attention. Interestingly, this is one of the easiest outward signs of depression to spot since authority figures like bosses and teachers can generally recognize that it’s happening.
Here’s one classic symptom of depression that nearly everyone who suffers from the condition experiences. In fact, some research shows that nearly 90% of people who suffer from depression also experience fatigue. However, it remains a fairly subtle symptom because fatigue can arise from many different causes. As a result, it’s essential to go to your doctor and ensure your low energy level isn’t coming from some other source.
Only Picking Up on Negative Cues
While many who feel this symptom simply consider themselves “realists,” there’s more going on than they care to admit. If someone can’t see the good things happening in their lives, they may suffer from something more than a case of the blues.
One of the things that makes this symptom of depression so difficult to overcome is that we’re evolutionarily primed for it. Think about it: humans have only been civilized animals for a relative blip on the evolutionary radar. Our brains subconsciously look for bad things around us because those could be signs of danger. It wasn’t that long ago (relatively speaking) that noticing some bad cue around you could be the difference between getting mauled by a sabretooth tiger or bringing home food for your family. Still, if you only notice the bad things around you, stop and consider why that’s happening.
Use CBD as Your Secret Weapon Against Depression with Relive Everyday
If you feel like you may be suffering from depression, it’s important to contact your doctor. If you’re having serious thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation, don’t wait to make an appointment with them: call the National Alliance on Mental Health’s emergency line at 988.
However, there are some steps you can take on your own to help reduce depressive feelings. if you’re not in immediate danger. One of them may be to try CBD. Research has shown that many Americans already use CBD effectively to self-manage their depression. At Relive Everyday, we take pride in offering some of the best premium CBD products you’ll find online. To learn more, explore our complete line of CBD products.