9 Unconscious Actions You Take When You’re Depressed


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Page last updated: 18/10/2022

9 Unconscious Actions You Take When You’re Depressed

Hey Optimist Minds!

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a highly prevalent and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. 

It can cause long-lasting and severe feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a loss of interest in activities. It can also cause physical symptoms of pain, appetite changes, and sleep problems.

When you’re depressed, you feel overwhelmed by uncontrollable negative thoughts that attack your self-esteem. As a result, you tend to act in ways, unlike your healthy self.

This video will describe nine such behaviours that depression makes you do unconsciously. You don’t even realise you’re doing these things till you have to face the consequences. We recommend consulting a licensed therapist to learn how to stop doing them.

Now, here are nine unconscious actions you take when you’re depressed.


Your sleep schedule becomes irregular.

Usually, when you’re depressed, the first change you’ll see is in your sleeping pattern. You’ll start staying up longer than you had planned to. Perhaps you’ll procrastinate sleep because the night is the only time you feel free to do as you like. This phenomenon is called revenge bedtime procrastination.

Another way depression ruins your sleep cycle is by making you wake up much earlier than you’re supposed to. It can also cause broken sleep, nightmares, and difficulty falling asleep.


You change your eating habits.

Depression can impact your appetite in two ways. Either you’ll start skipping meals because you don’t feel like eating at all. Or, you’ll eat more of the foods that give you pleasure and comfort.

Both transitions lead to changes in your weight. People who are depressed tend to see a sudden drop or gain in body weight.


You get addicted to distractions.

You’ll find that depression pushes you to develop coping mechanisms that aren’t always healthy. Since you need something to distract yourself from the constant pain and negativity experienced in depression, you might get addicted.

It doesn’t help at all if you cope by taking substances as they are meant to be addictive. But you may also form other unhelpful habits like impulsive buys, binge-watching content, and too much partying.


You procrastinate.

One of the ways depression affects you is by interfering in cognitive activity. It becomes harder for you to concentrate, learn, or be productive. As a result, you might avoid getting tasks done.

Since depression also makes it difficult for people to connect with others or have social interactions, you might start procrastinating work that involves phone calls or meetings.

9 Unconscious Actions You Take When You’re Depressed


You assume what people think or feel.

Depression is a thought disorder that develops due to unhelpful patterns of thought. These are also called cognitive distortions and negative thought traps. It’s a trap to think in irrational and negative ways because they lead to more and more thoughts till you have an uncontrollable thought cascade.

One of these cognitive distortions is mind-reading when you start assuming what other people are thinking, feeling, or going to do. Individuals who are depressed often base their choices on how they think others will react.


You stop doing self-care.

According to research, both minor and major depression is associated with decreased self-care behaviour and quality of care.

Ironically, people who are depressed need a lot of self-care but one of the first things that get affected by this disorder is your inclination to take care of yourself. You tend to feel like you have no energy or willpower to get self-care activities done.

More severe kinds of depression may impact your hygiene and grooming behaviour. It’s not uncommon to neglect oral health, showers, physical activity, and other daily practices for maintaining wellness.


You have emotional outbursts.

Do you start crying without realising what triggered you? Or perhaps you lose your patience more often and have highly emotional reactions to things around you.

Frequent emotional outbursts are a typical symptom of clinical depression. The overthinking, cognitive distortions, negative self-image, and feelings of helplessness make you extremely sensitive to triggers. Consequently, your reactions become more volatile than usual.


You isolate yourself.

Social withdrawal is the most common telltale sign of depression. Individuals with more depressive symptoms may experience fewer social interactions because they are afraid of possible rejection from others. 

Depression also makes you feel less connected with others. Social interactions don’t seem enjoyable. Instead, they feel like chores that put pressure on you to appear different from your present self.

Subsequently, you avoid interacting with others and keep to yourself.


You frequently zone out.

When you’re depressed, you often find that your body is in one place but your mind is elsewhere. You’re unable to be present at the moment and absorb all the sensory information coming at you.

It’s usual to feel slightly disconnected from your physical self and lost in a mental world during the depression. Since you get trapped in a sea of thoughts, you repeatedly zone out from the situation in front of you.

Did any of these actions remind you of yourself? Do you think you’re acting in unconscious ways due to your depression? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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.