8 Surprising Signs of Depression

Depression is so much more than feeling down — it can wreak havoc on nearly every aspect of a person’s life. And, sadly, even people in the throes of a deep, debilitating depression don’t always realize they have it, and only one in three actually seek treatment for it. For many people, the stigma surrounding mental illness runs deep, and can make it difficult to recognize the more common symptoms. Depression can also manifest itself in less obvious ways. Read on for some of subtler signs of depression.

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1. Your House Is a Mess.

They might not be making it on television for their out-of-control-clutter, but people experiencing depression often struggle with getting even the most basic things done, housework included. It can become a vicious cycle — when you’re depressed, you don’t want to clean, and the messier your home becomes the more overwhelmed you feel.

2. Colors Appear Dull.

Research has shown that, for people experiencing depression, colors appear less vibrant than they do for people who aren’t experiencing depression. That means that, for depressed people, the world literally appears to be duller and grayer — and the more depressed a person is, the worse it can get.




3. Your Body Aches.

It’s not just your mind that hurts when you’re experiencing depression; for many people, physical symptoms manifest, too. One of the most common physical symptoms of depression is unexplained, chronic pain. About 2/3 of people diagnosed with depression experience some sort of chronic pain, and the pain can in turn make depression worse. Though the exact reason why chronic pain is linked to depression isn’t quite clear, it may be related to the fact that people with depression often have higher levels of cytokines, a protein that can promote inflammation.


4. You’re Having Trouble Remembering Things.

Depression can wreak havoc on your brain, including the part of the brain that stores memory. It can also change your perception of past events — depressed people tend to more easily recall sad memories than happy ones, which further worsens their depression. Depression also impacts your ability to focus, and when you can’t focus on information, it’s harder to recall it later.




5. You Won’t Log Off

Can’t shut off your computer or smart phone? When Internet use gets out of control — enough to negatively impact your daily routines — it may be a sign of depression.


6. You’re Neglecting Your Basic Hygiene.

For most healthy people, basic hygiene is so second nature that it can be difficult to understand how it can become a challenge for people dealing with depression, because, as simple as it may seem, these tasks can prove to be Herculean for people with depression. All too often, though, ignoring personal hygiene goes hand-in-hand with depression. People with depression tend to withdraw themselves from social activities and the way that others perceive them. When that happens, self-care can fall by the wayside.




7. You’re Having Trouble Making Decisions.

Deciding on things both big and small can be difficult for people experiencing a bout of depression. This is closely associated with the fact that people with depression are less likely to get pleasure from positive situations and are more likely to feel bad after negative outcomes.


8. Your Digestive Track is Going Haywire.

People with depression often complain of poor digestion. Research by doctors at the Stanford University School of Medicine even suggests that gastric irritation early in life may cause psychological issues in adulthood. Incredibly, many people seeking treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) have also been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, and depression can make IBS symptoms worse.


If exercise and healthy eating aren’t helping your symptoms, then it’s time to seek help. If any of these symptoms are persistent in your life, talk to your doctor. Don’t let the stigma of mental illness keep you from getting help.


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carol GREEN
Past Member 1 years ago

I have depression and sometimes it can get to be so bad you just want to either sleep all day or just cry.I have felt suicidal at times but I fight it I am not ready to die yet,I cant leave my children and grandchildren, I wouldnt want them to find me well dead,this is serious illness and for me it comes with bipolar,anxieties and panic attacks. I am on meds but they dont always due the trick.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

Good to know, thanks

Mike D.
Mike D.2 years ago

There is nothing worse, then going through hell of depression. You wake up each day, not knowing if you will make it
'till night, or you will simply give in, and end it all yourself. The drugs sometimes help, and sometimes make it worse.
Felt like I had no control whatsoever over my own life. It took me a while, but I managed to teach myself how to push trough the day, and keep on fighting.
In the end, it all comes down to helping yourself get up and fight, because without that no one can truly help you, no matter how much they would want to.
To conclude, help yourself, so you could go out into the world, and start truly living, and that will be a cure on it's own.

maria reis
maria reis2 years ago

Depression is very serious condition and must be treated in a very proper way.

Anna Undebeck
Anna U2 years ago

Been there sadly enough, it is SO unreal and just about Everything about "real life" is just impossible to even think about sometimes. Diffucult to explain if you havnt been there really. Thank God and the The Doctors who takes you seriously if you even manage togo there - the GOOD Doctors that knows what they do and care enough to help and treat everyones depression individually, and when they take you seriously of course. Sadly not all do. And thanks to some medicine that actually is needen in many cases, and sometimes helps a person back to a normal life again.
The brain is sure interesting & complicated.

Thanks for posting!

Jennifer H.
Jennifer H2 years ago

Good descriptions. Thanks for sharing.

Rosemary H.
Rosemary H2 years ago

Most of these sound familiar, but I beat my depression and don't expect it to return.

Firstly, if you are aware of a cause for your depression, Do Something About It!! (Well, that's what worked for me, anyway.) It is empowering.

You need to deal with the "helpers" who seem to think you are a superficial little thing. "You mustn't do that! It must be reminding you.." As though forgetting was an option! Tell these people firmly that there is far more to you than meets the eye, and if they really care about you, they should know you need to do the things that work for you inside.

I really believe that if I had listened to their garbage I could have ended up as a suicide! Instead I won my battle, and the self-confidence it gave me will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life. However, at that time I needed these people to be supportive!

Barb Hansen
Ba H2 years ago

also watch for normally funny people forcing themselves and going overboard trying to be funny. a friend committed suicide shortly before robin williams and I noticed the same forced humor in both.

Rike Wesendahl
Rike Wesendahl2 years ago

Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

Simon Tucker
Simon Tucker2 years ago

I was depressed until I lost my job and found that it wasn't the end of the world (it helped that I have a reasonable pension and am getting freelance IT work), in fact it was one of the best things that has ever happened to me (after my children and my wife).