Covert Signs of Depression


Disclaimer :: I am not a medical professional, and the information and opinions presented in this article are based on my experience and personal research and not of FWMB or CMBN.

Depression is tricky because it plays with your mind, making it harder for you to see things from an objective perspective. Because depression and anxiety run in my family, I always try to keep a finger on the pulse of how I’m feeling. To me, this is an important piece of my overall well-being and health. How we feel emotionally plays a large part in how we feel physically!

We often think of depression as something that keeps a person in bed for days or causes a person to stop eating; however, there are many covert signs of depression. In fact, most people with depression are getting up every day, going to work, taking care of kids, and otherwise fulfilling their responsibilities. From the looks of them, you might not think they struggle with depression. Here are some symptoms that don’t scream out at you unless you’re paying attention and looking for them.

girl holding phone

They spend too much time on an electronic device. Whether they’re scrolling social media over and over or playing a game intensely, spending too much time engaged on the phone can be a coping mechanism for not wanting to engage in real life. This is no way intended to be a judgment, as no one but you can determine how much is too much. Think of it this way: Are you using your phone for a specific benefit (such as reading a blog article or finding a recipe), or are you using your phone as a distraction? Several studies (including this one) suggest our phones make us feel lonely, isolated, and anxious.

They feel generally unwell. For some, depression manifests itself in random aches and pains, while others feel physical emptiness or numbness in the chest. Perhaps there’s a constant sense of fatigue or feeling of being run-down despite the amount of sleep gotten or healthy food eaten. All of these could point to depression.

hand, writing, not

They find themselves needing to write everything down. We often joke about “new mom brain,” but for some people, the inability to concentrate and remember something you recently learned is a result of depression. Being highly distracted or suffering consistent forgetfulness are signs that the brain isn’t functioning as efficiently as it could — possibly due to depression filling so much mental capacity.

They’re unable to forgive themselves. We all try to do our best, but for some people, making a mistake is emotionally devastating. If someone replays events over and over and nitpicks every word she’s said and every prior decision she’s made, then she has set herself up for depression. Negative self-talk just reinforces negative emotions. And consistent negativity paves the way for longer-term depression.

They feel less affectionate. Perhaps snuggling with the spouse doesn’t soothe this person like it used to, or watching his or her kiddos play doesn’t bring the same smile it once did. Feelings that seem to have disappeared (though there’s no reason for them to have done so) could be a sign that someone is feeling the funk.

They’re anxious. Anxiety and depression go hand-in-hand. They feed each other. It only makes sense, given the above symptoms. After feeling physically unwell, people start to worry about their health. After nitpicking every word they said at work and at home, they start to feel anxious about job performance or how they stack up as parents.

Have you realized you’re not your usual self? Speak up! Take some time to chat with a family member or to talk to a trusted friend. Talk it through, and spend some time reflecting on WHY you feel this way and what can be done about it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a counselor or doctor for additional support if necessary. There is no shame in taking care of yourself and spending the time (and money, if needed) to ensure you’re emotionally and mentally well!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here