Depression is a silent killer.
Many people are ashamed or afraid to ask for help, so they go on with their lives and live with it in secret. However, there are still small habits that these individuals will do when they enter a depressive episode. It’s important to remember that depression is a brain illness that can be fatal if it’s not treated properly.
Every year, depression affects more than 16 million Americans. Mental health is starting to get the recognition that it deserves, but there is still more work to be done. According to statistics, only 35.3% of Americans who are suffering from depression seek help. This is a major concern because it’s extremely tough to deal with depression on your own.
For some, they don’t seek help because they feel it’s not a serious issue. Others see it as a sense of weakness; they think that asking for help means they can’t deal with their own problems. This is why it’s essential for friends and family to be able to spot certain habits or signs of depression.
It doesn’t mean the individual will automatically open up, but it will definitely show them that they have people around them who are aware of the changes they’re going through and are there to help. Below are the top habits someone with depression will develop and go through.
1. If you are suffering from depression, you won’t want to leave your house/room. You want to be alone with your thoughts and in most cases want to feel sorry for yourself without anyone bothering you, according to the Huffington Post.
2. This is a very serious habit. Some people will completely give up on life, says Healthline. They believe that they have sunk so low that there is no coming back from it. They may ignore calls, stop showing up to work, stop going to school, not paying bills, the list goes on.
3. Depression does not allow people to sleep; it will actually do the total opposite, according to the Huffington Post. People will pretend that they’re sleeping so no one will bother them, but they end up staying up all night and struggle to fall asleep because their mind is constantly racing with negative thoughts.
4. Many people suffering from depression will not seek help because they believe they can deal with it on their own. They become obsessed with trying to figure out why they’re in agony, but in many cases, this just makes things worse, especially if they don’t figure out why, says the Huffington Post.
5. That little voice in your head that people think isn’t real actually is. It tricks you into believing that you’re not loved, life has no meaning and there is no reason to continue trying. No matter what the situation in your life is, this voice will always try to remind you that none of it is true, says Healthline.
6. This is not necessarily a bad habit, but those suffering from depression will sit on the couch and binge watch television shows. Seems harmless right? But at the same time, they avoid eating, showering or even sleeping, according to the Huffington Post.
8. Some people with depression will not sleep at all, and others will constantly sleep, according to Healthline. They will get home from school/work, lay on the couch and sleep until someone either feeds them or tells them to go to their room and sleep.
9. To deal with depression, some people look to writing poetry and other creative stories that are based off happier times they have experienced. It helps keep the negative thoughts out of their head.
10. Some people with depression will experience sudden mood swings. They may go from not sleeping to sleeping all the time. They may go from constantly working out to sitting on the couch all day, says the Huffington Post. This habit is easy to spot if a pattern starts to develop.
11. Some people will also suffer from other disorders that contribute to their depression. For example, some people will also suffer from trichotillomania, which is the disorder where the person will keep pulling their hair. After they pull it out, they will get a sense of relief, according to Healthline.
12. Someone suffering from depression might try to take a shower to relax, but at times that can make things worse. They could end up sitting in the shower for hours, even after the water has stopped running, to try and numb the pain, according to WebMD. They want to get out, but they can’t.
13. People who suffer from depression will not enjoy the taste of food, says WebMD. This doesn’t mean that the food tastes bad; it means that they’re so stressed about so many issues that they can’t enjoy their food. They may also start eating less or lose their appetite.
14. Someone who suffers from depression will constantly cancel plans and appointments, explains WebMD. They don’t have the energy or the desire to do anything. They just want to be left alone.
15. Depression can also cause people to develop other habits. One example is picking their skin until marks are left. Some people get satisfaction with hurting themselves, which needs to be dealt with immediately before it becomes life-threatening, according to the Huffington Post.
16. Running helps many people dealing with depression. It gives them a sense of accomplishment which is one of the main symptoms of depression. They don’t feel that they have accomplished anything in life.
17. The most challenging thing for those suffering from depression is trying to hide it, according to the Huffington Post. They struggle every day to put on a smile, when in reality they’re crying inside. People may notice, but they just play it off by saying “I’m just tired.”
18. Depression can cause people to become lazy, which translate into procrastination. They will avoid chores and stop taking care of their appearance, according to Healthline.
19. Music can be a telltale sign of someone’s mood. Someone suffering from depression may enjoy old rock and roll, but the second they develop a depressive episode, they may enjoy listening to something more soft and relatable to their situation, says the Huffington Post.
20. It’s one thing to avoid plans and appointments, but some people want nothing to do with human interaction, according to WebMD. So they may walk around with headphones in their ears not only to avoid talking to people, but to also portray that they are functioning when they really are not.
21. For some people suffering from depression, the sound of water relaxes them and eases their mind. So they may end up taking up to three showers a day depending on how severe the depressive episode is.
22. It’s never a bad thing to be addicted to cleaning. Some people suffering from depression will clean anything and everything, says WebMD. It’s a good distraction and helps them focus on something more positive instead of something negative.
23. There is nothing tastier than a home cooked meal, but because depression is extremely draining, people suffering from it will often buy takeout because they lack the energy and motivation to cook, according to WebMD.
24. Pushing people away is nothing new for people suffering from depression. But the difference is that they do it in a harmful way. The reason they do it is to mask the emotion of anger rather than sadness says the Huffington Post.
Not all people want to avoid human contact when they are suffering from depression. Some would prefer the touch and warmth of their friends and family. It calms them down and reminds them that they have people around them who love them. One last thing; if you are suffering from these habits and you think you might be suffering from depression, you should consult your doctor.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
HELP DAWGS BLOG