For many people, the word “depression” brings images of a bedridden person who has lost all interest in life to mind. And while that may be one image of depression, it’s not the only way this mental illness can manifest.
Many mild, “hidden,” or “subclinical” depression cases go undiagnosed because the symptoms are much less apparent. Not only do depression symptoms range in severity, but the symptoms themselves vary greatly. From the physical aches and pains to the emotional ones, depression can still hinder your life, even if subtle.
If you think you might be dealing with depression, take note of these common but often overlooked symptoms:
You’re struggling to stay focused.
You may not be able to focus as well as you used to. Your mind may feel foggy, and it’s tough to get things done. You may notice you’ve been more forgetful, struggling to remember important dates, or frequently misplacing everyday items.
While just about everyone will have an off day here and there, this symptom is more persistent when you’re depressed. So if you struggle to stay productive most days, whether you can’t stay on task or you’ve actually misplaced things you need to get going, consider that depression might be to blame.
Your actions and decisions have been a bit more impulsive.
You may find yourself making decisions without really thinking them through first. Or, you might do things on a whim that you normally wouldn’t – like quitting your job or going on a spending spree.
Of course, sometimes acting impulsively can be fun and spontaneous. But if it’s out of character for you and feels compulsive, it could be a sign of depression.
Your energy levels are lower.
Persistent fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of depression. It’s often overlooked or misattributed to other causes reasons like stress or lack of sleep. And while these can certainly worsen one’s depression, see if you can identify a general shift in your energy over time apart from these triggers. If you have depression, you might feel persistently tired and lethargic, no matter how much sleep you’re getting.
You feel more irritable lately.
We often think of depression as overwhelming sadness, but sometimes, people with depression feel angry and irritable instead of hopeless and miserable. If you catch yourself snapping at loved ones more often or feeling easily annoyed, it could signify that something is wrong.
How Therapy Can Help Address the Subtle Signs of Depression
These are just a few examples of how depression can show up in our lives.
If you’re struggling with these symptoms, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
One of the most effective treatments for depression is therapy. In therapy, you can learn to develop healthy coping mechanisms and address any underlying issues contributing to your depression.
In other words, therapy helps bring your depression to light because you can be depressed and not know it. Therapy uncovers the subtle symptoms you may be struggling to see on your own to identify the tools you need to address them and feel better.