Many people are familiar with the more common signs of depression: feelings of sadness or hopelessness, fatigue, mood swings, loss of interest, etc. They have in their mind an image of what someone with depression looks like and acts like. In reality, there may be people struggling with depression who seem cheerful and energetic. They are not people you would normally think of as being depressed, but that does not mean they are not affected.
Depression is a serious problem that requires attention. If left untreated, it can have a negative impact on people’s lives and even lead to suicidal thoughts or tendencies. Executive rehab center Chapters Capistrano has treated many clients who have battled both depression and addiction. Clients may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way of trying to mask or alleviate the pain of their depression. For others, their addiction may contribute to the development of depression as it alters the way the brain and body work.
Recognizing some of the signs of depression that may be less obvious can help people to get treatment for themselves or loved ones. Here are some signs to be aware of:
- Not talking about feelings or appearing overly positive or involved.
People with depression can be excellent at disguising it. Instead of talking about their emotions, they may throw themselves into other activities. They may appear to have it all together and be very organized and motivated. However, this could just be their way of covering up what they don’t want to discuss. If they act like everything is fine and they are cheerful, people will have less reason to think any differently. Even though they may be hurting on the inside, on the outside they appear calm and collected.
- Irrational behavior or anger.
Certain things may set them off and it can be unexpected. Men more commonly experience anger related to depression than women. This can be their way of dealing with the emotions they are feeling, especially if they don’t know how else to express themselves. Instead of letting themselves get upset or cry, they have a flare up of anger or are more easily agitated and irritable.
- Trouble sleeping or lethargy.
We all get worn down from time to time, but for those with depression, they may feel tired no matter how much sleep they get. Or, they may have trouble falling or staying asleep, waking up periodically during the night. This can take a toll on other facets of their life as well, because poor sleep can make people more irritable, affect their health, increase problems with concentration, and more.
- Changes in appetite.
While some people eat more to try to cope with feelings of depression, others may not be eating much at all. Each person responds differently. The person may turn to food as a way of dealing with challenging situations or forgetting about their problems. They may use comfort food as a way to feel better. Others seem to get by on eating very little. Because of the depression, they may not feel hungry or eating may make them feel ill. In addition, when depressed, they may feel as though they lack control over their lives, but eating is something they can have control over.
- Foggy thinking.
Aside from feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or negativity, depression can change how a person thinks in general. They may have more trouble concentrating and focusing on tasks at hand. It could be more difficult to remember details and make decisions. Overall, they may just feel as though their thinking is not as clear as it once was and it takes longer to process information. Others may notice their indecisiveness or lack of focus.
- Withdrawing into themselves.
Those struggling with depression may start to withdrawal from activities they once enjoyed. They may stray from their routines and start making excuses for not attending social events or hanging out in general. You may notice that they are more isolated and drawn into themselves and their thoughts. When questioned, they always have an excuse or reason for their behavior or for missing an event. Usually they seem pretty logical as well so as not to draw attention. But what was their normal routine and lifestyle can quickly begin to deteriorate as they spend more time on their own and pull away from others.
- Unexplained pain.
The person may complain of pain such as headaches, stomachaches, or backaches that have no real cause. Common forms of treatment may not fully alleviate their pain either. This can be a sign that their issues are stemming from a problem with depression or another mental health condition.
Friends and family should always take signs of depression seriously and seek to get the person treatment. Even if it turns out to be something else, it is better to get help than to let it fester untreated where it could become more serious. Mental health issues and addiction tend to go hand-in-hand because they feed off of one another. It is essential for the two to be treated simultaneously for more effective care.
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, talk to a professional immediately. For those who are also battling addiction, Chapters Capistrano offers dual diagnosis programs to help clients manage their health and begin recovery. You don’t have to go through it alone. Contact Chapters Capistrano at 949-371-4198 to learn more about our luxury drug and alcohol rehab and dual diagnosis programs.