How to Spot Hidden Depression in Loved Ones

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Depression isn’t always easy to spot in loved ones, and they may be hiding it on purpose. However, there are signs and tips to help you see their hidden symptoms of depression. Depression can be a devastating condition that affects them on multiple levels. Here is some information to help you understand what your loved ones may be going through.

Some people hide their symptoms of depression.  It is easier to hide the issues than to deal with them, so it is common for this to occur.  They may hide depression because they are scared and do not want others to know what is happening to them. They also may be worried about losing their jobs or kids. Embarrassment is another reason for it to happen. Depression still comes with a stigma, and they do not want it attached to them.

They may overcompensate. To hide depression, they overcompensate by being more outgoing than usual.  Studies show that people trying to hide their depression can force themselves to be more outgoing and give fake smiles. They are trying to keep their issues undercover, so they want others to think they are fine. 

They may have eating disorders. Issues with food are common among those with depression. Changes in appetite are common. They may eat too much or too little. Their diets may be out of control as they try to hide depression. If you notice diet changes in your loved ones, then consider why they are happening. Food can serve as an emotional trigger. They can use it to make themselves feel better or worse. 

They may have angry outbursts. These outbursts can become more frequent as the depression gets worse.  An occasional angry outburst over a terrible situation is normal for everyone. However, if you notice frequent and strange angry outbursts, then your loved ones may be suffering from depression. 

Their sleep patterns may change. Unhealthy sleep patterns are an issue for those with depression.  Sleep patterns that change for no reason may be a sign of a deeper issue. Your loved ones may sleep too much or too little. They may complain about not getting enough sleep, yet they refuse to go to bed.  It is important to look deeper into sleep issues. Why are they having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep?  Or why are they staying in bed for so long?  Insomnia is frequently linked to depression. 

They may turn to addiction. Addiction and depression are often linked together.  Addiction can come in many forms and includes food, drugs, alcohol, or other items. It can also include gambling or other behaviors.  Risky behavior is an issue for people who suffer from depression. If you can spot these behaviors, then you can seek help and get them treatment. It is important not to ignore their cry for help. 

They may hide their feelings by keeping insanely busy schedules. Work, family, and volunteer activities can fill up the day and stop them from addressing their depression.  It is common for those who are hiding their symptoms of depression to fill up their day with a ton of activity. This keeps them busy and stops them from thinking. It also keeps others from questioning them.  A busy schedule prevents them from having to deal with their emotions, so they pile on the activities. 

They have trouble thinking clearly. People who suffer from depression can often make bad decisions or refuse to reach any decision and have trouble with their thoughts. They may also show difficulty in focusing on easy things. 

Use these tips to help you spot hidden depression in your loved ones. You can help them feel better and get help. If the depression gets worse or you feel that your loved one is a threat to him or herself, contact your local 911 or direct them to the nearest emergency department to be safe and err on the side of caution.  Thanks for caring.

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