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Hidden Signs of Depression You Might Not Know About

Depression is a prevalent mental health condition that casts a shadow over millions of Americans. Depression affects people from all walks of life regardless of race, age, sex, or socio-economic background. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 5 adults in the United States have been diagnosed with depression. Sometimes, the reasons a person becomes depressed are apparent. For example, they may be lonely or have lost a loved one, a pet, or a job. Learn more about the hidden signs of depression today!

There may be common signs of depression, such as:

  • Crying spells
  • Persistent sadness and hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in people and activities once enjoyed
  • Sluggishness and fatigue
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Thoughts of death or suicide 

While there are many obvious and common signs when a friend or loved one has depression, there are just as many hidden signs of depression. Sometimes, those with depression may try to hide the signs from others. Learning all the symptoms of depression can help someone who needs it seek help and prevent the condition from worsening.

Here are some of the hidden signs of depression to watch for: 

Low Sex Drive

Since fatigue, low self-esteem, and loss of interest in once pleasurable things are common symptoms of depression, it makes sense that decreased sex drive happens. Unfortunately, sexual function, desire, and satisfaction can all take a hit.

Wacky Emotions

Anger is an intense emotion that might not fit a typically depressed person. However, sometimes anger is simply misplaced sadness and fear. Depression causes strange emotions, such as laughing inappropriately or lashing out for no apparent reason.


It’s common for depression to cause low energy, boredom, or lack of motivation. Conversely, someone with depression may keep a full schedule by working long hours or taking on other responsibilities to escape their emotions. 

Reckless Behaviour

Someone with depression may engage in impulsive, reckless behavior that seeks instant gratification. For instance, those with depression may spend money on things they can’t afford, have promiscuous sex, or eat and drink more extravagantly than usual.  

Physical Aches and Pains 

Due to the body’s response to stress and tension, depression can manifest into physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, and back pain. Chronic conditions such as hives, digestive issues, arthritis, or fibromyalgia may worsen. 

Negative Self Talk

Sometimes, those with depression will engage in negative self-talk by continually cutting themselves down in front of others or inside their head. They may carry an unfounded burden of guilt or blame themselves for things that are not their fault. 

Forced Happiness

Hidden depression is often referred to as “smiling depression.” That’s because those suffering will force a smile to mask sadness, helplessness, or loneliness. However, keeping up the facade of happiness and positivity can be difficult, and the mask will slip. 

Perfectionism or OCD

Some individuals may develop an obsession with perfectionism to cope with their depression in an attempt to regain control over their lives. They may obsessively clean the house or organize shelves and drawers. They may continually wash their hands or check locks and switches.

Drug or Alcohol Abuse

Some people with depression may use alcohol or drugs to cope. Some drugs are depressant, which only worsens the problem. Other substances, such as alcohol, offer temporary pleasure and relief, just enough inspiration to keep using until an addiction arises. When depression and substance abuse meet, it’s called a co-occurring disorder. 

What To Do About Hidden Depression

Not everyone with depression will display all or any common or uncommon symptoms of depression. Anyone concerned that a loved one has hidden depression should talk to them about their symptoms while offering nonjudgmental support. 

Supporting one with depression includes:

  • Encouraging them to seek treatment
  • Offer to accompany them at appointments
  • Plan activities together
  • Encourage self-care
  • Set wellness goals 

Depression is a highly treatable condition. Individuals who suspect that they or a loved one have depression should consider discussing it with a doctor or mental health professional. A mental health professional can accurately diagnose and recommend appropriate treatment options. 

Enlightened Solutions is Here to Help

If you turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with your depression, and now your life is totally out of control, Enlighted Solutions can help. We understand that recovery is a lifelong process. Our team is committed to your continued treatment through peer support, outcome analysis, alum follow-up, and our recovery coaching program.

Your first contact with us is a lifeline to recovery through mind, body, and spirit. We pride ourselves on providing a community of resources to our clients whose lives have been affected by addiction. The Enlightened Solutions family embodies what it truly means to be a recovery community by encouraging your independence, stability, spirituality, and holistic healing. Your health and sobriety is our ultimate goal.

We’re waiting to hear from you. Contact us today.

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