Why You May Not Know You’re Depressed
There are several possible explanations for being depressed and not knowing it. Depression might not be on your radar, either due to denial or stigma, or you may dismiss your symptoms because you’ve been experiencing them for so long. You may even be mistaking the symptoms of depression for something else.
The following are some reasons why you may not realize that you are depressed:
They May Often Seem Exhausted Or Complain About Always Being Tired
A prevalent side effect of depression is constant exhaustion. Not everyone with the disorder struggles with it, but its extremely common. For those who experience this symptom with their depression, its often one of the hardest side effects to cope with.
Also, if someone is living with an undiagnosed depression disorder, the cause of their exhaustion can be baffling. They can get plenty of sleep each night and still wake up every morning feeling like they only slept a few hours. Worse, they may blame themselves, believing it to be laziness or some other personal fault thats causing their low energy levels.
This is also a symptom thats difficult to conceal for those who have been diagnosed with depression but are attempting to keep it from their peers, as it often affects their workload and personal relationships.
What Does Depression Look Like
Well raise your question with a few Qs of our own: Are you female? Are you a teen? Depression can also affect different ages and genders in unique ways:
Women are more likely to ruminate . This can look like negative self-talk, sudden crying spells, feelings of guilt, or blaming oneself. Women are also more likely to have depression at the same time as an anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, eating disorder, or obsessive-compulsive behavior.
Men with depression are more likely to show signs of irritability, anger, apathy, escapist behavior , or reckless behavior .
Younger people can struggle with depression and MDD . Children and teens may sometimes exhibit oversensitivity, social withdrawal, poor school performance, frequent physical complaints , or feelings of incompetence and despair .
Older adults and the elderly are often misdiagnosed or undertreated for depression because their symptoms can be mistaken for other disorders , or they may assume their feelings are just an inevitable part of aging. For many, sadness isnt the biggest indicator of depression instead, physical complaints are often the predominant symptom. Sleep trouble, low motivation, neglect of personal care or hygiene, and fixation on death are other signs of depression in older adults.
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What To Do When Youre Too Depressed To Work
Are you too depressed to work?
Everyone gets sad from time to time, but the major depressive disorder is a serious mental illness
If you have DMM, there are massive consequences.
Your symptoms of depression can be crippling, and the statistics back it up!
The World Health Organization lists depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide.
If youre having trouble working during a depressive episode, dont beat yourself up over it. This is not something you can snap out of with willpower.
Mental health issues can be just as detrimental to your ability to work as physical health conditions.
Thankfully, there are options available for what to do, to get you back on your feet and confident at work.
If Youre Experiencing Symptoms
- Recognize if youre starting to slip. If you are struggling with new or worsening symptoms, dont hesitate to seek help. If you already have a therapist, reach out to them right away. If you do not have one, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP for a free, confidential referral for treatment. If youre considering harming yourself, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 .
- Ignore incorrect attitudes. The old idea of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps is not only outdated, but also not based in science. If you feel depressed, there is no cause for guilt, says Dr. Solomon.
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Depression: What You Need To Know As You Age
If youre one of the more than 14.8 million American adults who experiences major depression, you may feel so bad that you cant get out of bed, be around the people you love or participate in activities that you usually enjoy. Actually, there are more than 50 different symptoms of major depression, ranging from the well-knowncrying and sadnessto those you might never associate with depression, such as anger, workaholism and back pain.
Depression is a disease that affects every aspect of a persons life, not just mood, says Johns Hopkins expert Andrew Angelino, M.D., Chair of Psychiatry at Howard County General Hospital. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be the second-leading cause of disability in the world, just behind cardiovascular disease.
People who are depressed are far more likely to have other chronic medical conditions, including cardiovascular disease, back problems, arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and to have worse outcomes. Untreated depression can even affect your immune response to some vaccines.
Depression is not just debilitating it can be deadly. An estimated one out of five people with depression will attempt suicide at some point.
Why Is It Hard To Admit That You Have Walking Depression
You may recognize many of these signs in your life but still be slow to admit that you are depressed. Why is that?
Because it feels presumptuous to put yourself in that category when youre still getting by. You feel like it would be insulting to those who are much worse off than you. You may feel like you have no real reason to be depressed.
Because your pride and your identity take a hit. You have to admit vulnerability and allow that you are not the all-conquering superhero you thought you were.
Because you realize that you and your life need to change, which feels like more work piled on your plate.
Because you are admitting your own responsibility for your unhappiness and that can trigger self-judgment.
Because you might uncover grief or anger at those around you for not seeing and taking better care of you.
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How Common Is Depression
Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the country. An estimated 17.3 million adults in the US reported having at least one major depressive episode over the course of a year, a 2017 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows.
Thats 7.1% of all adults ages 18 and older. Women have a higher prevalence of experiencing a major depressive episode than men .
Depression is especially crushing for the workforce: Its the number one leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The total economic burden of MDD is estimated to be $210.5 billion per year in the United States alonea figure that reflects costs associated with missed days, reduced productivity, treatment for depression, and suicide.
Take The Depression Test
Depression strikes millions each year, often with debilitating consequences. This psychological disorder is so common that it is sometimes referred to as the “common cold” of mental health, with nearly 10% of the population suffering from a depressive disorder at any given time.
Depression has a high cure rate. Effective treatments exist to help bring people’s lives back under control. Yet tragically many people suffering from this illness go without diagnosis and treatment. This depression test is a tool that may help you recognize the symptoms of depression and decide to get help. Please note that only a licensed professional can diagnose depression.
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How To Shake It Off In The Moment
When sadness tints every aspect of your day-to-day an unrelenting gray, you might have trouble finding relief. Feeling down can also make it more difficult to brainstorm potentially helpful changes, which is why professional support can make a big difference .
In the meantime, these strategies may offer a bit of relief.
There May Be Some Signs Of Anxiety That Youve Been Ignoring Here Are 6 Signs That You Might Have Anxiety And Not Even Know It
Are you prone to migraines, or long-lasting headaches? Have no fear, there are lots of others like you. If you have throbbing head pain that wont stop coming back no matter what you do to treat it, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Or at the very least, chronic stress. Constant headaches and migraines are common for people who suffer from chronic anxiety.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, over 50% of those who have migraines also have anxiety! Dont worry. If this sounds like you, there are a number of treatment options available. If over-the-counter pain relief doesnt work for you, you might benefit from anti-anxiety medications or cognitive therapy.
Excessive Bathroom Use
Do you find that youre constantly trying to find a bathroom before things like major exams, or crowded social events? Isnt that never-ending need to urinate or poop, around these moments a little too coincidental? Thats because it probably is. A 2011 study revealed a strong correlation between a heightened need to urinate and anxiety.
Being a Perfectionist
Having a Hard Time Trusting Others
How did you do? Were there any signs on this list that youve noticed whenever you feel anxious? Are there any interesting signs of anxiety that weve missed that you want to add? Leave a comment down below and let Psych2Go know!
Muir, Sharryn. Perfectionism and Anxiety. Adavic.org, 2014, www.adavic.org.au
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If Youre Too Depressed To Work:
- Take short breaks with a meditation app when you need them.
- Get outside for a walk in the fresh air.
- Go to the gym on your lunch breaks.
- Pack a nutrition-filled lunch and avoid carbs.
All of the above will keep your energy levels up. Avoid these foods if youre depressed.
If you dont have a team of mental health professionals, put one together ASAP.
Use the back of your health insurance card to find a therapist and/or psychiatrist in your area. Before signing on with one, Google them to ensure other patients had good experiences.
Your team can help provide guidance and advice as you see how much you can push yourself at work.
What Are The Symptoms Of Depression And How Is It Diagnosed
The NHS recommends that you should see your GP if you experience symptoms of depression for most of the day, every day, for more than 2 weeks.
Doctors make decisions about diagnosis based on manuals. The manual used by NHS doctors is the International Classification of Diseases .
When you see a doctor they will look for the symptoms that are set out in the ICD-10 guidance. You do not have to have all of these to be diagnosed with depression. You might have just experience some of them.
Some symptoms of depression are:
- low mood, feeling sad, irritable or angry,
- having less energy to do certain things,
- losing interest or enjoyment in activities you used to enjoy,
- reduced concentration,
You may also find that with low mood you:
- feel less pleasure from things,
- feel more agitated,
- find your thoughts and movements slow down, and
- have thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Your doctor should also ask about any possible causes of depression. For example, they may want to find out if youve experienced anything traumatic recently which could be making you feel this way.
There are no physical tests for depression. But the doctors may do some tests to check if you have any physical problems. For example, an underactive thyroid can cause depression.
On the NHS website, they have a self-assessment test which can help you to assess whether you are living with depression: www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/clinical-depression/overview/
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Appreciate The Little Things In Life
Youd be astonished to know how something as not worrying too much can make a big difference in your life. Youd be amazed at how little things in life can make you happy. A little sunlight, playing with your pet, smelling the fresh air, star gazing, or listening to birds sings can make you instantly happy. These are all free but are all proven effective in combatting sadness.
You have more things to explore in life, and instead of focusing on the destination, enjoy the process. Enjoy the little moments in your life that lead you to bigger and better experiences. All the simple things that happen in your life can free you of your worries.
How Is Depression Diagnosed
These days, a routine doctors visit with your general health practitioner may be all it takes to receive a diagnosis. Standard screening tools like the Patient Health Questionnaire a survey of yes, nine items, that physicians use to assess the severity of depressionare becoming widely used in primary care settings to screen for the condition.
In fact, most patients with depression are going to be diagnosed and treated by primary care doctors, not specialists or psychiatrists, says James Murrough, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Depression and Anxiety Center for Discovery and Treatment at Mount Sinai.
Depression is mainly diagnosed by history and clinical presentations, or a specific pattern of symptoms, says Dr. Murrough, which is to say theres no blood test for MDD. But if you have symptoms like changes in sleep or appetite, your doctor may look into other conditions unrelated to mental health .
The first thing your doctor might do is order blood testsnot to make the diagnosis of depression, but to rule out things that could be masquerading as depression, explains Dr. Murrough. For example, an underactive thyroid can present as low mood and feeling sluggish, and iron deficiency anemia is another reason why some people might have low energy.
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Ruling Out Other Possibilities
Its possible that some physiological changes may affect your mood. If this is the reason for your symptoms, addressing these changes may also help you in feeling better.
You may want to consult with a healthcare professional who may perform a comprehensive physical exam and perhaps recommend some laboratory tests.
Even When We Know What Depression Looks Like We Can Miss It In Ourselves
Much of my work as a clinical psychologist has focused on treating individuals with depression, so I’ve learned a lot about what it looks like. And yet when I gradually slipped into my own state of depression some years ago, I didn’t recognize it.
Over time, I had developed the telltale symptoms, including a pervasively negative view of myself as a “loser.” In hindsight, it’s obvious that I was thinking like a depressed person, but at the time I believed the self-loathing thoughts. Finally, I recognized that they were being driven by my mood.
My experience could be chalked up to “another psychologist without self-awareness,” and yet I don’t believe that tells the full story. Many people I’ve treated have described a similar blindness to their own depression, until it became unmistakable.
Even the people we’re closest to might not realize we’re depressed, especially if we’re good at “soldiering on.” They may sense we’re not at our best, but might attribute it to other factors.
Given the greater public awareness of depressionand professional experience in my casehow is it possible to not know when it’s present? There are several factors that can play a role:
1. Depression can look really different from person to person.
2. Depression tends to develop gradually.
3. In a related way, the various symptoms of depression often develop at different times.
4. There may be an obvious reason for feeling down.
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Risk Factors That Can Make You More Vulnerable
Depression most often results from a combination of factors, rather than one single cause. For example, if you went through a divorce, were diagnosed with a serious medical condition, or lost your job, the stress could prompt you to start drinking more, which in turn could cause you to withdraw from family and friends. Those factors combined could then trigger depression.
The following are examples of risk factors that can make you more susceptible:
Loneliness and isolation. Theres a strong relationship between loneliness and depression. Not only can lack of social support heighten your risk, but having depression can cause you to withdraw from others, exacerbating feelings of isolation. Having close friends or family to talk to can help you maintain perspective on your issues and avoid having to deal with problems alone.
. While a network of strong and supportive relationships can be crucial to good mental health, troubled, unhappy, or abusive relationships can have the opposite effect and increase your risk for depression.
Recent stressful life experiences. Major life changes, such as a bereavement, divorce, unemployment, or financial problems can often bring overwhelming levels of stress and increase your risk of developing depression.
Chronic illness or pain. Unmanaged pain or being diagnosed with a serious illness, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, can trigger feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.
Mild Sadness And Emptiness That Never Seems To Go Away
Symptoms of depression often become serious enough to get in the way of everyday functioning, but that isnt always the case.
With most forms of depression, periods of sadness might last a few weeks or longer, depending on the type of depression you have, and then lift temporarily. You might not feel sad or notice any other symptoms for some time.
With persistent depressive disorder , on the other hand, mood symptoms wont show up in clear episodes. Instead, they often last for years. With PDD, you may no longer recall a time when you didnt feel somewhat sad or depressed. You might:
- have trouble finding pleasure and joy in anything at all
- fall into patterns of pessimistic or hopeless thinking
- have low self-esteem
- have low energy for most activities
Unlike symptoms of major depression, symptoms of PDD may not prevent you from living your daily life. Still, as you work, go to school, and take care of your regular responsibilities. youll likely notice an ever-present sad or low mood.
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