Depression isn’t always easy to spot in loved ones, especially if they are hiding it on purpose. Last month, when I began this mental health series, I mentioned the importance of checking in on your loved ones, the strong types, who often need support, but don’t ask for it. Pillars of strength, at the first sign of trouble, they are the ones we seek out first. Sometimes, in our own self serving world, it’s easy to miss what’s being hidden.
Useful strategies to help you discover if your loved one is suffering from depression:
- Why people hide their depression. It’s easier to hide the issues than face them head on People hide their depression because they’re scared and don’t want others to know what is happening to them. They are worried about losing their jobs or kids. Embarrassment is another reason. Depression still comes with a stigma, and they don’t want it attached to them.
- They may overcompensate. To hide their depression, they overcompensate by being more outgoing than usual. Studies show they force themselves to be more outgoing and give fake smiles. It’s important to them that others think all is well.
- They have eating disorders. Issues with food are common among those with depression, including changes in appetite. They may eat too much or too little. Their diets may be out of control. If you notice these changes, consider why they’re happening. Food can serve as an emotional trigger, often used to make themselves feel better or worse.
- They have angry outbursts. These outbursts can become more frequent as the depression gets worse. An occasional angry outburst over a terrible situation is normal for everyone. However, if you notice frequent and strange angry outbursts, then consider this as a possible cry for help.
- Their sleep patterns change. Unhealthy sleep patterns are an issue for those with depression. Sleep patterns that change for no reason may be a sign of a deeper issue. They may sleep too much or too little, and may complain about not getting enough sleep, yet refuse to go to bed.
- It’s important to look deeper into sleep issues. Why are they having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Or, why are they staying in bed for so long? Insomnia is frequently linked to depression.
- They turn to addiction. Addiction and depression are often linked together. Addiction can come in many forms; food, drugs, alcohol, gambling or other behaviors. Risky behavior is an issue for people who suffer from depression. It’s important not to ignore their cry for help.
- They hide their feelings by keeping insanely busy schedules. Work, family, and volunteer activities can fill up the day and stop them from addressing their depression.This keeps them busy, provides a distraction from thinking, and helps to keeps us from questioning them.
- They have trouble thinking clearly. People who suffer from depression can often make bad decisions, refuse to reach any decision, and have trouble with their thoughts. They may also show difficulty in focusing on easy things.
? I hope these tips helps you spot hidden depression in your loved ones. If are concerned a loved one is hiding Depression, dont wait for them to approach you and initiate a discussion, it might never happen. How you approach the conversation is crucial. Don’t pretend to be a know it all. Don’t start off by telling them “ I think you might be Depressed”. Start with love, let that lead you. Think how you might want to be approached, if a loved one tried to talk to you about Depression.
To Your Success,