It may seem hard to believe, but there are people experiencing extreme depression that aren’t aware of their illness.
They have no perception of the weight of their negative emotions that are constantly swirling around in their minds.
However, it’s a very real issue faced by many primary care physicians and psychologists tasked with treating the associated symptoms of depression.
Muscle pain, moodiness, anger, self-hatred, mood swings, or contempt for all that surrounds them are symptoms associated with depression.
People may realize that something is wrong. Life may seem “off” and even strange, and everything feels like it’s going in the opposite direction of what you’d expect.
Still, they keep moving forward. People do this because they have created defense mechanisms which cause them to adapt to these feelings instead of facing them.
Thus, people silence their emotions, drown their sorrows, cover up stress with anxiety, and their anxiety, in turn, with multiple psychosomatic pains.
It may surprise you, but it is indeed a fact: hidden depression exists, as well as the silent suffering of thousands of people that are experiencing it without knowing it.
Here are the main symptoms of this complex situation.
Depressed people gradually develop helplessness and discomfort
Depression often does not have a specific and objective trigger, such as a loss, an intense breakup or suddenly finding yourself unemployed.
The most difficult concept to grasp is that the most depressed people are those who, at first glance, have “almost” everything that should make them happy: a family, a roof, a job …
Psychologists often tell us that depressive feelings grow like weeds in a beautiful garden. Then one day comes when it covers everything with its thick undergrowth, thorns and ugly shrubs.
It’s a subtle combination where dissatisfaction, emotional lethargy, and the feeling of losing control over our lives intermingles.
People experiencing this type of depression will notice they hardly do anything they enjoy. This is due to the obligations which keep them busy each passing day.
Almost without realizing it, they’ve normalized these negative feelings so much that they’re almost expected, and so so they find themselves accepting them.
Therein lies the problem.
Most symptoms don’t relate to depression
Patients visit their doctors because they’re feeling exhausted.
The doctor, as usual, will do a blood test. After seeing the results, the doctor will recommend you simply improve your diet, rest and take vitamins.
A few months later, you’re back at the doctor’s office because your back hurts a lot. The doctor, then, advises you to go to a physical therapist.
However, you request another appointment because you find yourself suffering from insomnia and nervousness. That’s when the doctor prescribes benzodiazepines.
Finally, in an effort to stop the use of psychotropic drugs and avoid creating a dependence, the doctor sends us to a psychiatrist who will make the final diagnosis: depression.
On average, it takes about 1 to 2 years in order to reach the final and correct diagnosis. Meanwhile, the patient doesn’t really know what’s going on with them.
This is a very complex issue we should pay more attention to.
Being in denial
The word “depression” shouldn’t scare you. However, it tends to generate a feeling of rejection, both by the actual person experiencing it and society itself.
We live in a world that that still thinks “Depressed people are sad. It’s nothing more than a weak attitude and not knowing how to deal with issues.”
To think this is a mistake. Depression, in any form, is a disease that must be treated in a multidisciplinary way. This may be a combination of drugs, psychotherapy and social support.
However, when a person receives their diagnosis, they feels the world suddenly stops and everything changes.
They shy away from dealing with their inner demons, losses, and broken heart. They put off cleaning out and organize a mind full of hidden emotions.
Instead, they keep acting as if nothing has happened just to remain functional.
Fighting depression is not easy for anyone; however, there will come a time when it’ll be impossible to move forward.
How to tell if you’re depressed
Psychologists have some key points that guide them when it comes to establishing a possible diagnosis.
These are the main signs:
- Constant mood swings
- Defenselessness, feeling that, whatever you do, nothing will turn out right.
- Feeling that you don’t have control over anything.
These are undoubtedly the most recurrent symptoms. They would be added to other more serious ones that don’t usually go unnoticed for the patient, such as self-harm or thoughts related to suicide.
Let’s learn to identify them as soon as possible and ask for help.