Picture a person with depression and what they might be feeling. Chances are, you see someone curled up into a ball, crying. While extreme sadness is one symptom of depression that many people experience, this condition does not manifest in the same way for everyone. As a result, depression often goes overlooked until it starts to interfere with daily life. Educating yourself on the lesser known symptoms of depression may help you recognize them in yourself or someone you know. In this blog, we will go over some depressive symptoms about which not everyone knows.
Irritability and Anger
Most people associate depression with sadness, but it actually often manifests as anger, particularly in men. This symptom of depression can manifest as irritability, crankiness, frustration, or rage. When you experience irritable depression, you find yourself reacting in a much angrier way than you normally would to life’s little inconveniences. Whereas before, a dish or two left in the sink may give you a momentary flicker of irritation at your spouse, suddenly, it feels like the greatest insult. Depressive rage is triggered by even the smallest things, lasts much longer, and is more intense than typical irritation.
When it comes to depression, sleep is often a source of stress. Whether it is too much sleep, too little sleep, being unable to fall asleep, or being unable to stay asleep, people with depression often suffer from a wide spectrum of sleep disturbances. Sometimes this manifests as insomnia, while on the other side of the spectrum, a depressed person may not be able to do anything but sleep.
People with depression may experience extremes in their emotions such as anger or sadness, but many feel completely numb. They may feel like they need to cry, but that they can’t, and they may know intellectually that they feel love and affection for their family, but are unable to tap into those emotions. Being numb feels like everything is on mute, and a person with depression may be aware of it, but not realize that it is a depressive symptom.
Negativity and Pessimism
A symptom that often goes unnoticed when it comes to depression is a general negative, pessimistic attitude. A depressed person may have an extremely negative view of themselves or the world in general. They probably beat themselves up a lot, always second-guessing their decisions and putting themselves or skills down. Many people fail to see this as a depressive symptom and think of it as just “how they are,” so it often goes unnoticed.
Passive Suicidal Thoughts
In the world of psychology, suicidal thoughts are put into two categories: active and passive. Active suicidal thoughts are thoughts about killing oneself, and can include a plan to do so. These types of suicidal thoughts are probably what you imagine suicidal thoughts to be. However, passive suicidal thoughts are also a symptom of depression. Passive suicidal thoughts may include the desire to be dead without an explicit desire to take action, a hope to be killed by accident, or the desire to go to sleep and never wake up again. An active suicidal thought is planning to jump in front of a bus; a passive suicidal thought is the wish that it would happen accidentally.
If you can identify with any of these symptoms, we are here for you. At Dr. Angela Reiter and Associates, we can conduct a depression test to diagnose you and get you the help you need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.