12 Habits Of Someone With Concealed Depression
Millions of Americans suffer with depression. In many cases, their struggle is invisible. This is called concealed depression.
A person with concealed depression doesn't appear sad. They even be the most fun person you know. Think of Robin Williams and how he was the life of the party. He suffered from depression and ultimately took his own life, yet he was one of the cheeriest people around.
So how do you spot someone with concealed depression? You can look for the following habits to see if the clues point to someone suffering silently and not sharing their pain:
1. Unhealthy changes in eating habits
Some people lose their appetite when they are depressed. Others stuff their faces, a la the cliche of binging on ice cream following a break-up. Neither reaction is good for one's physical health and can be an indication of a mood disorder.
2. Loss of interest in favorite activities
If that person who used to wear that t-shirt saying "Baseball IS life" can no longer make it to the game, you should wonder why that is. Maybe they are just busy with mid-terms and finals and will soon be back. Or maybe they have lost their zest for life and cannot manage to get out of bed on their day off to do anything at all.
3. Disturbed sleep
Maybe they are up all night and complaining of insomnia. Maybe they sleep until noon and can't be bothered to answer the phone because of it. Just as eating issues can go to either extreme, so can sleep issues. Persistent sleep issues are a reason to ask a friend if everything is okay and encourage them to seek professional help if they can't get it under control on their own.
4. Their relationship to psychoactive chemicals changes
Maybe it is more coffee. Maybe it is more alcohol. Maybe they suddenly can't stop talking about their encyclopedic knowledge of OTC drugs that can have mind-altering effects. Any of these types of behaviors can indicate someone who is trying to manage persistent mood problems with psychoactive chemicals.
5. They have a sense of being abandoned or a burden
That friend or relative who talks incessantly about not wanting to impose or not wanting to a burden? It may not just be manners. It may be a more deep-seated problem. That other acquaintance that constantly predicts they are about to be dumped by their SO? This may be depression talking more than an actual reflection of the state of the relationship.
6. They have the best cover stories
They talk a good game. They always have a good explanation for failing to show up or for sleeping late. But talk is cheap. You should believe your eyes over your ears. If the long term pattern doesn't really agree with their very plausible explanations, it may be time to suggest they talk to a professional.
7. They escape into creative outlets
People often think that if you are depressed, you are sitting at home doing nothing or you are a quiet wallflower. This is not always true. In some cases, they are the loudest party-goer you know because they can't stand to be alone with their thoughts. They sing, they play an instrument, they paint or do stand-up comedy and they can't seem to get enough because when the music stops, then they are alone with their negative thoughts.
8. They are too perfectionistic
Nothing is ever good enough. They freak out about little mistakes. If they got an A, they are upset that it wasn't an A+. These can be signs of feeling like they aren't good enough, of feeling like no one will ever accept them.
9. They are very reliant on habits to keep their life together
Habits are a great thing and can make life easier to navigate, but if you know someone who seems to come unglued at the thought of skipping their regular run or not getting their usual spot, there may be something more going on. If their habits are really interfering with their lives, it may be a sign of concealed depression.
10. They put on a happy face at all times
If you know something bad just happened, but their social media presence looks like their life is perfect, this may be a form of denial. This may be a clue that they are depressed and covering it up.
11. Existential crisis
People who desperately need to know their life has a purpose and what they do matters may be covering up depression. If they talk often about such subjects or routinely make changes trying to find their purpose, they may be concealing depression.
12. They "jokingly" make cries for help
Although they spend their time trying to cover it up, their real feelings leak out in small ways. They make too many jokes about "Just shoot me" or "If x happens, I may kill myself." If this is more than just an occasional joke, consider the possibility that it is no joke at all.
By its very nature, concealed depression can be a challenge to spot. But if you pay attention over time, you can figure out that something deep and dark may be getting swept under the rug. If you suspect your friend, relative or co-worker has concealed depression, encourage them to seek professional help.
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Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation with your doctor. Your health is important to us!