7 Hidden Signs of Depression


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Page last updated: 18/10/2022

7 Hidden Signs of Depression

Hey Optimist Minds!

Depression can be a debilitating condition if not detected early. It leads to intense feelings of guilt, helplessness, and beyond a point, hopelessness. Studies show that depression plays a role in more than one-half of all suicide attempts. That’s why early detection is a matter of life and death.

Even before any signs of self-harm, depression causes significant impairment in functionality. You’re unable to work, perform your duties, take care of others or yourself when you’re depressed. 

For many people, it’s hard to recognise the onset of depression. This is partly because of the stigma related to mental health and partly due to a lack of awareness.

In this video, we’ll describe seven hidden signs of depression. This information can help you identify the symptoms of depression to seek professional help immediately. However, this is only a self-assessment and cannot replace the official diagnosis a licensed therapist can provide.

So, let’s begin.


Increased irritability.

One of the items in the Beck Depression Inventory, a popular assessment tool for depression, asks the individual about how irritated they get. The 4-point scale ranges from not feeling more irritated than usual up to feeling irritated all the time.

People might attribute their irritability to external factors like a bad day at work, traffic, or the weather. However, a lot of times, the cause for a low threshold of impatience can be underlying depression.


Fake smiles.

Most people think that showing sadness is a sign of weakness. To cover it up and to hide your real feelings, you might be putting on a brave face. This can look like forced happiness because you’re not able to genuinely feel the emotion you’re portraying.

If you think you’ve been faking your smile for a long time, you might be in denial of possible depression.


Difficulty concentrating.

A common symptom of depression is a diminished ability to focus and perform cognitive tasks. This can look like a gradual decrease in performance at work or the lack of interest in intellectual pursuits that used to excite you.

Perhaps you’ve stopped reading books or you’re not able to do well in classes. You might think it has something to do with your intellectual abilities but it’s likely just an effect of depression.

7 Hidden Signs of Depression


Loss of interest in sex.

Depression affects your libido as well. You’re not able to feel pleasure like you used to and may have difficulty getting aroused. Sex has a lot to do with emotional intimacy as well but depression makes it hard for you to connect with your partner.

Uncontrollable thoughts, cognitive biases, and irrational ways of looking at things interfere with your ability and interest in sexual activity.


Substance abuse.

There is a strong association between depression and substance use. This is generally a hidden sign because the image of addiction overpowers the possibility of depression. As much as there is stigma for mood disorders, the stigma for addiction is worse.

People tend to focus only on the problems related to addiction and thus miss out on the root causes for such self-sabotaging behaviour, which might include depression.


Body ache.

Research shows that depression often manifests as somatic symptoms such as pains and aches. You might be experiencing chronic pain for a long time but you never suspected that it could be caused by poor mental health.

This can typically be identified if the pain has no physiological explanation. In a lot of cases, depression causes bodily pains if there is a history of trauma.


Impulsive behaviour.

The final hidden sign of depression included in our list is risky and impulsive decisions. A 2003 psychometric study established three dimensions to measure the relationship between depression and impulsivity. The dimensions were loss of impulse control, non-planning behaviour, and impulsive thoughts.

Further supportive studies found this association to be undeniably strong. You might be engaging in many impulsive actions like gambling, meaningless sex, and dangerous adventures. And for all you know, it’s just a hidden symptom of a depressive disorder.

Did any of these signs seem familiar to you? Do you think you or someone you care about might be suppressing a serious mental health condition? Let us know in the comments if you found this video helpful.

A link for further reading and the studies & references used in the making of this video are mentioned in the description below.

Thanks for visiting optimist minds, take care. Until next time.