Hidden Signs of Depression

//Hidden Signs of Depression

Hidden Signs of Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues Americans face each year. If we are to believe commercials for antidepressants, the main defining symptom of depression is “feeling blue.” While sadness and depressed mood are key symptoms in diagnosing the disorder, there are many other symptoms and lifestyle changes that are associated with depression. Many of these symptoms might not be recognized as depression, either by observers or by the depressed person him- or herself. Below are some of the lesser known symptoms of depression:

  • Change in appetite – Either eating more frequently or in greater amounts than typical, or by having a reduced appetite. Associated weight changes may also be present.
  • Change in sleep habits – Either sleeping more or less than before without an obvious cause (i.e., change in work schedule, increased caffeine use)
  • Fatigue – A sense of tiredness that won’t go away
  • Alcohol or substance use – Using alcohol or drugs to cope with emotional pain
  • Forced happiness – Putting on a smile and seeming upbeat to cover up internal pain. Because this takes a lot of mental energy that a depressed person lacks, there may be occasional lapses where depressed feelings show through.
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Pessimism
  • Unexplained physical ailments, such as pain, headaches, and digestive issues
  • Frequent anger and irritability – Particularly among men, who tend to display these issues more outwardly than sadness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or sex – Showing a marked change in these areas

Many people experience one or two of these symptoms on occasion but may not be considered depressed. Having many of these symptoms increases the likelihood that depression is present. It can be helpful to have an understanding of these symptoms to increase awareness of one’s own internal experience or that of a loved one. Assessment by a mental health professional can confirm a diagnosis and provide guidance on treatment.

By |2019-09-12T18:10:18+00:00September 12th, 2019|

About the Author:

Dr. Stephanie M. Fox
Dr. Fox’s professional training took her throughout the Four Corners area, which inspired her practice name. In 2009, she earned a B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Mexico, graduating summa cum laude. She earned her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, Denver in 2012, and her Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Arizona School of Professional Psychology in 2016. Throughout her training, Dr. Fox has had an extensive assessment background, including conducting diagnostic, forensic, and educational/achievement evaluations with adolescents and adults. She completed a predoctoral internship at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan, and completed her postdoctoral work in private practice in personality and psychoeducational evaluations. Collectively, Dr. Fox has completed hundreds of evaluations covering a diverse range of issues. Dr. Fox is licensed as a Psychologist in the state of Colorado (#4709), and is also nationally certified as a Health Service Psychologist by the National Register (#55849). She is a member of the American Psychological Association, Colorado Psychological Association, and Colorado Assessment Society.