18 Subtle Signs of Hidden Depression Most People Miss

We have come a long way in reducing the stigma around mental health and understanding the symptoms of various disorders. However, some symptoms are not quite as obvious or recognizable as others. This list reveals 18 subtle signs of hidden depression.

Sudden Weight Changes

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Depression can significantly reduce one’s appetite and disrupt normal eating habits. Research shows that this can lead to problematic eating attitudes and tendencies. So if you suddenly seem to have lost or gained a surprising amount of weight, it may be time to reflect on whether this could be due to a mental health issue such as depression.

Persistent Sadness or Low Mood

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While some people assume that depression always comes with extremely intense negative feelings or a complete lack of feeling, this isn’t the case. A sense of persistent sadness or low mood is also a common symptom of depression. You may also notice that you seem to be more negative and less enthusiastic than you used to be.

Loss of Interest in Activities Once Enjoyed

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If you’re no longer finding a sense of passion or pleasure in things you used to enjoy, this can be another warning sign that you’re experiencing depression. This can be especially harmful when it leads to isolation from friends or family members and personal neglect.

Increased Fatigue and Sleep Issues

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According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there’s a strong link between depression and sleep issues. Depressed individuals are more likely to have a persistent sense of tiredness, struggle to fall or stay asleep, and sleep more than usual. If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it could be a good idea to speak to a doctor or mental health specialist.

Irritability and Unexplained Outbursts

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Sometimes, depression manifests as a general sense of irritability or seemingly unexplainable outbursts. If you notice yourself getting angrier than usual at small inconveniences and frustrations, this could be a sign that you’re struggling with depression.

Difficulty Concentrating and Making Decisions

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It’s common for people who have depression to struggle more than usual with tasks that require concentration and decision-making abilities. This can manifest as decreased productivity, lower grades or work performance, and an increase in the number of mistakes you make.

Feelings of Worthlessness or Excessive Guilt

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Sadly, depressed individuals often also have to deal with chronic feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. You may notice that your thoughts are more critical of yourself than usual or that you’re frequently blaming yourself for things that aren’t really your fault.

Changes in Physical Movement

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People suffering from depression sometimes experience changes in their physical movement. For example, they may appear more restless or slower in their actions than usual. This can also manifest as slowed speech, pacing, and fidgeting. If you or people close to you have noticed this change, you may want to consider whether you could be depressed.

Recurring Thoughts of Death or Suicide

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People often associate depression with an increased risk of suicide or suicidal ideation. However, even seemingly less concerning thoughts about death and dying can be an indication of depression. If you’re experiencing thoughts like these, take them seriously and consider speaking to a therapist or counselor.

Excessive Worry or Anxiety

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Many people think of depression and anxiety as two completely separate mental health issues. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, anxiety can actually manifest as a symptom of depression. These issues can also exacerbate each other, so it’s a good idea to talk to a mental health specialist if you may be experiencing both.

Unexplained Physical Pain

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Despite what some people think, depression can cause physical symptoms such as unexplained muscle pains, headaches, and other body aches. If you’ve noticed that you seem to be in more pain or discomfort than usual for seemingly no reason, it’s possible that you may be depressed.

Reliance on Substances

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Many depressed individuals end up turning to drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication as a way of coping with their difficult feelings and thoughts. As such, changes in your substance use should be taken seriously and monitored carefully, especially as they can exacerbate mental health issues when misused.

Overwhelming Feelings of Hopelessness

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Depression isn’t just about having a persistently low mood; it can also make you feel a range of other negative feelings, including hopelessness and powerlessness. If you seem to be trapped in the sense that nothing will ever get better and your struggles will never end, you may be experiencing depression.

Neglecting Personal Care

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It’s common for depressed people to struggle to find the motivation for personal care and hygiene. This can cause them to neglect things such as showering, grooming, and tending to their appearance. They may also be more likely to wear the same clothes multiple days in a row.

Withdrawal from Social Activities

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Depressed individuals are more likely to pull away from their friends, family, and social events they used to enjoy. While this can be mistaken for a simple sign of introversion or tiredness, it can lead to a dangerous degree of isolation and loneliness.

Sensitivity to Rejection or Failure

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According to the National Library of Medicine, depressed people are more likely to exhibit symptoms of rejection sensitivity. This means you may find yourself being more emotionally affected by minor rejections or failures than others. If this is a persistent issue of yours, you may want to consider speaking to a mental health specialist.

Overeating or ‘Comfort Eating’

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Many depressed people use food as a way to cope with their difficult feelings and thoughts. Unfortunately, this can lead them to gain unwanted weight and potentially develop other health problems. If you’ve noticed that you’re eating more than usual or have gained weight recently, this could be a sign of depression.


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Depressed individuals often have a harder time making decisions, even if they’re about seemingly small issues. Several factors can contribute to this problem, such as decreased concentration, lower feelings of self-worth, and reduced motivation. If this sounds like you, you may want to seek the support of a therapist.

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