Depression. A word that was once taboo or only mentioned at the doctor’s office. Now it is a word we hear and see more often, either in conversation or on social media. It is not just a word, but an illness that affects people across the nation and all over the world. It tends to stay silent and goes unnoticed by many. When a person finally shares his or her illness with others, it isn’t uncommon to hear “you always seem so happy” or “wow, I would have never thought”. That’s because depression isn’t always obvious, but here are the silent signs to recognize so that you can help.

Appetite and Weight Changes

Changes in appetite and weight are actually common in someone with depression. One might eat to find comfort or lose his or her appetite due to lack of motivation or energy. This in turn leads to weight gain or weight loss.

Change in Sleep Habits

Depression can cause difficulties with sleeping. Those who struggle with depression often have insomnia or a hard time falling and staying asleep. People with insomnia are 10 times more likely to have depression than those without the condition. Fatigue is also a symptom of depression, so another sign can be someone sleeping too much.

Loss of Concentration

Another symptom of depression is trouble with memory and concentration, which can cause a person to trail off during a conversation or lose his or her train of thought easily. This in turn can cause someone to struggle socially or at work, which can exacerbate his or her depression.

A Purposefully Busy Lifestyle

One silent way people may manage their depression is keeping a busy schedule. Always being wrapped up or engaged in different activities or with work keeps them away from their feelings or having to think about their depression.

Appearing Extremely Happy or Upbeat

Many people with depression have learned to alter their outwardly mood to appear happy or upbeat, often going to the extreme of these emotions to hide what is going on inwardly. Everyone has a different personality, so this will present differently from person to person, however most people don’t want to bring others down even if it means concealing their depression.

Often Searching for Purpose

Depression can leave a person feeling like something is missing in life or like there is an emptiness inside. People struggling with this illness might constantly be on the search for greater meaning or purpose to satisfy this feeling. They just want to find the key to happiness, often coming up short because what is really going on is something that needs to be addressed in a different manner. 

If you think you or someone you know has depression, please seek or encourage him or her to seek medical attention. Also make it known to him or her that it is okay to confide in a friend or a loved one. There are help and resources available to those with depression, awareness is key in the fight to treat depression and prevent injuries or death due to this illness.