The New Depression
We’ve come to know depression by certain signs of sadness, too much sleep, overeating or even severe lack of appetite. But what happens when depression is hidden?
How To Recognize
Just as there are varying degrees of depression, there are also varying signs. Hidden depression is exhibited in behavior that masks its appearance vs. the outwardly signs of sadness, excessive sleep, and extreme change in appetite.
One behavior to be aware of with yourself or others is a realism that is present instead of optimism. Not necessarily complete negativity, but a response that is void of hopeful thinking. An example would be instead of someone saying “I hope I get the job,” they would say “There were a lot of applicants so I know my chances are slim in getting the job.”
Besides this, topics of conversation and thought often turn philosophical with a person who normally doesn’t discuss such things. These could include the meaning of life, evaluation of your life or questioning your purpose.
Another sign is excuses always ready not to be social or attend an activity. Everyone has schedules, but repeated excuses from a once social person could be a signal.
Why It’s Happening
Depression is nothing new for the many who suffer from it. What IS new is our adapting to that depression. Work and home life schedules are more demanding than ever. Between a full day at the office and children’s activities after work, there is little time left.
This adaptation has originated from our current busy situations and produced a coping mechanism that helps us to function daily. This brief coping guards against triggers that are known to affect someone’s mood. But much like the functioning addict, this coping is only temporary.
Most certainly, this adapting behavior can lead to an acceptance. This is dangerous when the brain is trained to accept a different quality of life.
And most importantly, because these ways of fending off masked depression are mostly unknown, there is a danger that the depression will not be addressed and treated. When left untreated, depression can worsen.
Visiting a healthcare professional to evaluate any concerns is necessary when signs are present of hidden depression.