10 Signs That You May Have Depression
Yes, you can still appear to be a high functioning human while suffering from depression.
It’s Friday at 4 PM. Almost time to punch out of work from a hellish week of the same mundane routine. You answer emails and take orders from your boss while you force a smile as if you are happy to be there. But the truth is, you just want to RUN home.
It’s not even that you want to go out and party with your friends. You just want to get back to your safe space where you don’t have to do anything but be.
Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, but sometimes life is just too extra. Depression can creep in slowly into your life when things aren’t where you want them to be, or it hits you hard after a devastating life event.
Ok, maybe you’ve noticed you’re not feeling great lately. If these signs sound a little too familiar you may be depressed and not even realize it.
#1. You’ve become an academy award winning actor.
You smile and nod. You try and laugh along with your coworkers and friends. But the truth is, you can’t wait to just hide away from everything. Even those close to you might not even know the storm brewing inside. On the outside, you look like a normal happy human. Inside, you are questioning everything in your life and quietly praying to God that you can pull this smoke show off.
When asked the simple question, “How are you?” you have a perfectly rehearsed answer to make it seem like you’ve got it together, while another part of you is just dying for someone to really want to know how you’re really doing so you can just spill your guts. But you don’t say a word. What you are feeling is heavy and you don’t think most people can deal.
#2. Your eating habits are not normal.
You know better than anyone else what your “normal” looks like. Let’s say the average person eats about three full meals a day or maybe five small ones a day. Those meals are most likely decently balanced. And we can’t forget snacking. A good appetite always welcomes snacks.
But you’re not eating even three small meals a day. Your appetite is gone, and you can’t even enjoy food. You’re eating to live and not the other way around. You look in the mirror and see a sunken face. You’re losing too much weight.
You are eating everything in sight. You’re over indulging and stress eating. If you enjoy food, you know that burst of feel-good hormones pulsing through your body after devouring an entire carton of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Food is an instant gratification. You feel like crap and stuffing your face is that fastest way you think you can boost your spirits. In the end, you just feel bloated and even worse for the weight gain.
#3. Your sleeping habits are not normal
Again, you know how many hours your body needs to feel it’s best and to be fully rested. But you’re not getting enough. You have insomnia and you are up all night scrolling social media and just up thinking about some stupid thing you said back in middle school that’s just too cringe worthy. You’re also up early with your new best friend, anxiety. Waking up with anxious thoughts and pissed that you had been awakened from your safe dream space. For a minute, you think it was all just a bad dream, but it’s not. It’s all too real.
All you want to do is sleep. You want a sweet escape from all your problems and thoughts. You look forward to diving under the sheets and just knocking out. You’re always tired. You’re physically tired. You’re mentally tired. You’re just emotionally exhausted. You sleep in during the AM, and want to nap throughout the day. You’re sleeping too much and it’s giving you sore muscles and headaches.
#4. You can’t seem to be happy for others’ happiness.
A friend invites you to their show that they've got the lead role in. You get an invitation in the mail about someone getting married or your old pal from high school is having a baby. That’s great and all, but... you don’t care. You can’t be happy for others when you are miserable with yourself.
You see couples holding hands in the park or girls/guys showing off on social media at yet another exotic vacation spot. You start to dry heave because seeing people living their best lives literally just makes you sick.
#5. You dread social situations where you might have to talk about yourself
Small talk kills you. You know you shouldn’t stay home alone with your torment and anguish, but social situations are painful. You make excuses so your friends or loved ones don’t feel like you’re just bailing on them. It’s not that you don’t care about them, it just takes so much energy to psych yourself up for each event. The problem with this is that you end up isolating yourself. In this case, misery loves company, but just yours.
If you have close friends or family who are true empaths, there is a type of sociality that can be comfortable. These are people you can just “be” with. Maybe you sit around in your sweats, drink wine, and not have to talk. You can just be with people without all the pressure.
#6. You neglect your very basic needs
You’re not treating your body as a temple. You’re not eating enough to make sure you're well nourished and have fuel to energize. You eat comfort food or just unhealthy junk to get by. You down caffeine like it’s nobody’s business so you can stay alert. You’re dehydrated and probably taking an array of over-the-counter medications to help you sleep or to give you energy.
Exercise? You’ve been running circles in your mind all day! The last thing you think about is working out. You’re fighting fatigue at this very moment.
Instead of taking a walk outside for fresh air and sunlight, you’re curled up in a ball of blankets and immobile.
#7. You are completely NUMB
Everything on the radio doesn’t sound good. Songs are too upbeat and happy or a downer. You feel nothing or want to feel nothing. Food has lost its taste, and you aren’t enjoying things you normally would. You’re feeling uninspired and you are trying to fill the void with other substances.
You can’t wait to pop some Tylonal PMs when you get home from work so you can just crash. Maybe anxiety meds/anti-depressants are what’s getting you through the work week. But weekends, you might be drowning yourself in alcohol, marijuana, or drugs, because being numb is all you can handle.
#8. Sadness overwhelms you out of nowhere.
Maybe you’re not the crying type. But now you don’t feel like yourself, because at the drop of a hat, you burst into tears, and you don’t know why. It’s not even that you’re reacting to someone or something that hurt you. Something is just going off inside you. Your body just needs a release. Unexplained emotions and feelings can only be suppressed for so long until your body reacts.
#9. You are in a fog of overthinking, regret, and guilt.
A coworker calls your name. They call out again, but you’re in another world. You’ve become a ghost, just floating through life because you’re probably heavily medicated and still chasing shadows of the past.
When you are finally home in your safe space, you lay awake at night thinking about all the things you should have done or haven’t done. You have incredible guilt and torture yourself with all the regret.
#10 You lose all hope.
This is when you seriously need to seek help. If you can’t honestly look forward to the future, I recommend you talk to a therapist, counselor, doctor, family, or friend. When you don’t have hope, those demons in your mind won’t give you reasons to want to live. This can bring depression to it’s scariest place; the contemplation of suicide.
If this article finds you at a point where you think you are depressed or suicidal, PLEASE reach out for help. This world will NOT be better off without you. We need you to tell your story of how you overcame depression to help save lives of those who are at their weakest point.
What does depression look like? It’s you, it’s me, it’s the stranger standing in front of you at Starbucks. We all have issues we deal with behind closed doors. I hope you can open yours.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide or is in extreme emotional distress you can call toll free 24/7.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline