Can you have subconscious depression? (9 signs)

On this page, we shall answer the question “can you be depressed and not know it?” we will also look at a brief definition of depression and note down the seven types of depression. We will also look at the vulnerable group at risk of getting depression.

Can you have subconscious depression?

Yes, you can have subconscious depression. Sometimes, it is possible to have depression without feeling sad. Many people with depression ‌notice their thoughts centre on their sources of stress and worries.

Some, however, have no clue that the symptoms they are experiencing are indicators ‌they have depression. Many people with depression live with persistent low mood, hopelessness, disturbed sleep and eating patterns. Some, however, have a sense of loneliness, sadness and hopelessness, running as a “background noise” as you go about your day. 

That subconscious depression/ the depression that you are not aware of makes you uneasy, being sad, sleeping too much or getting no sleep at all. Subconscious depression can still take a toll on your mental health if not recognized and treated.

Before we look at the signs and symptoms of subconscious depression, let us identify different ‌types of depression and their symptoms.

Types of depression

Major depressive disorder (MDD)

This is the most common type of depression and is also known as clinical depression. It is diagnosed if the person has the following symptoms lasting for over two weeks;

  • Persistent low mood
  • Lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Hopelessness and worthlessness
  • Change in the sleeping and eating patterns
  • Suicidal thoughts, ideation or attempts
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating

Dysthymia /Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD)

It is a mild but long-time type of depression. A person has low moods that last for about two years, accompanied by any other two symptoms. Depression can be mild, moderate or severe.

With this type of depression, the person may get relief in between, but for two months or fewer and then the depressive symptoms come back. Symptoms include;

  • Low mood
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Guilt
  • Sleeping too much
  • Fatigue 
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Changes in appetite
  • Low self-esteem 
  • No concentration
Can you have subconscious depression? (9 signs)

Postpartum depression (PPD)

Hormonal shifts can cause changes in mood during pregnancy and after birth. This type of depression is more than the “baby blues” that most women experience. It is classified into two that is peripartum onset and PDD. 

Mood changes, anxiety, and irritability are common during and after pregnancy for about two weeks, but symptoms of PDD are severe and long-lasting. They include;

  • Low mood
  • Trouble bonding with your child(ren)
  • Thoughts of self-harm or harming your child
  • Suicidal ideation or attempts
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Hopelessness
  • Changes in appetite

Bipolar disorder

This is a mood disorder characterised by episodes of elevated mood (mania) and depression. The extreme symptoms can be so severe that they affect normal daily functioning and require hospitalization. The depressive episodes are also severe and apart from the common low moods, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, lack of interest in activities, fatigue and hopelessness, other symptoms may include;

  • Irritability
  • Disorganization and indecision
  •  Unexplained aches and psychomotor agitation
  • lethargy

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

It is also known as a major depressive disorder with seasonal patterns. Some people experience low moods, shifts in weight and changes in sleep patterns during cold weather. It is perceived to be caused by the disturbance in the circadian rhythm of the body. 

Light entering the eyes influences this rhythm so the weather conditions disrupt the moods causing depression. This type of depression mostly goes unnoticed and untreated. Most of the parts of the world affected are those away from the equator, which are areas around the north and south poles. 

It is treated with light therapy.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)

This type of depression is mostly confused with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) whose symptoms are irritability, anxiety, bloating, fatigue, cravings, breast tenderness and aches.

The symptoms of PMDD are more severe and are related to mood. They include;

  • Feeling self-critical
  • Feeling sad
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Mood swings, especially bouts of crying

Atypical depression

It is currently known as depression with atypical features. This type of depression does not follow the typical presentation of symptoms of depression. Symptoms of atypical depression diminish when the person faces a positive event.

The symptoms include;

  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Intense sensitivity to rejection

The symptoms of atypical depression are eased by the use of monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) which is an antidepressant.

These types of depression will help you ‌identify the type of depression you might be having. Let us now look at the signs and symptoms of unconscious depression.

Signs and symptoms of unconscious depression

Struggling in school or work

This is commonly confused with loss of interest in activities. They may include exhibiting behavioural problems at work or school, getting in class or work late and showing no commitment when working or doing a project.

Having physical symptoms with no explanations

Have you been having body aches and pains with no valid cause? This could be a sign of unconscious depression. The body at times responds to stress and mood swings through aches and pains that have no obvious diagnosis from the physician.

Sleep problems

Our sleep habits and patterns say a lot about our health in general. If the sleep problems are not attributed to any underlying physical condition, then there is a likelihood that you have depression.

You have more negative emotions than positive ones

Some people develop a constant negative outlook on life to a point where they actually believe that it is their personality. What they don’t know is that it can be a sign of depression. It is therefore important to find out if depression causes a negative outlook in life or the negative emotional responses.

Being overly anxious

It is normal to have moments of anxious energy and excitement. Always pay attention to the events causing anxiety and the frequency of that feeling. Work stress, problems with studies and even good stress like a job promotion causes anxiety. 

However, if you are feeling overly anxious for no elaborate stressor in your life, then this could be an indicator of subconscious depression.

Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed

It is normal to skip some activities, i.e. meeting up with friends or skipping your workout when you feel not up to it. However, if the disinterest in the activities you used to love is regular, then this is an indicator of unconscious depression.

People are noticing a change in moods or attitude

Most of the time, mental health issues are noticed by people around or close to the person afflicted and not the individual who is sick. If you find your friends, family or colleagues are consistently mentioning your change of attitude and moods that is not your typical attitude and has no definite cause, then this could show depression.

You have no appetite or have gained noticeable weight

Our mental health affects our eating habits. If you are not on a weight gain or weight loss journey and you notice significant changes in your eating habits or you have gained or lost a significant amount of weight, you need to check in with your doctor. It could be a symptom of depression.

Having low self-esteem 

If you constantly struggle with letting go of mistakes you have done in the past, having a negative self-image or negative self-talk, then you need to see your physician or counsellor as this could be a sign of depression.

Having suicide-related thoughts

Constantly thinking about death or how to end your life is a symptom of depression. This warning sign should not be ignored and you should contact your physician or counsellor immediately if you are having any suicide-related thoughts.

You might think that you have it under control if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms. However, these symptoms prevent you from living a normal life and affect your productivity throughout the day. Take a bold step and contact your physician or counsellor. You can also join an online support group for depression.


We have looked at a brief definition of what depression is and covered in detail the main 7 types of depression and their symptoms. We have then discussed the signs of depression that you could have and not know. We hope this blog has helped you identify if the problems you are experiencing in life are caused by depression. 

If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below.

Frequently asked questions: subconscious depression

What are the 6 types of depression?

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Persistent depressive disorder (PDD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
  • Postpartum and peripartum depression
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Situational depression
  • Psychotic depression

What does depression do to your mind?

It affects the chemical balance in the brain, making the neurons in the hippocampus shrink. This affects memory and difficulty concentrating. It also makes it difficult to finish simple tasks, which then induces feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anxiety and guilt.

What is the highest level of depression?

Clinical depression is the most severe type of depression. It is also known as Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)

What is a fuzzy brain?

It is a feeling of not having full mental clarity and memory loss or difficulty focusing on an idea/ thought. It is not a medical term and is also known as brain fog.


Unique mindcare (2022), 7 common types of depression. Retrieved from

Navarro medical (December 1, 2020). 10 signs you could be depressed without knowing it. Retrieved from

Patz A., (May 21, 2018). 10 surprising signs of depression. Retrieved from