7 Subtle Signs of Depression You Should NOT Ignore

Spotting signs of depression can be easy once you know what they are. It’s estimated that 1 in 10 Americans experience depression at any given time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many people with depression don’t even know they have it. Depressive symptoms may range from mild to severe and they can vary greatly; symptoms are often attributed to fatigue, stress, or the aging process.

Here are 7 subtle signs of depression you should NOT ignore, in yourself or someone close to you:

1. Irritability

Most people think depression leads to overwhelming sadness. Sometimes, people with depression experience anger and irritability rather than hopelessness and misery.

If you’ve noticed increased irritability—or it seems like the people around you feel like they need to walk on eggshells—don’t ignore it. Don’t blame your impatience and anger on your stress level or workload. Take a moment to consider the possibility that you may be depressed.

2. Sleep Difficulties

While an occasional restless night or two isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm, persistent sleep difficulties or insomnia can be a symptom of depression. Many people with depression struggle to fall asleep, or stay asleep, despite feeling exhausted.

Other people with depression sleep too much: They struggle to wake up in the morning, can’t wait to go to bed at night, and often take naps during the day as well. If your sleep habits have changed, it’s important to address the possible underlying causes.

3. Aches and Pains

There’s a powerful link between your body and your mind. When you’re struggling with mental health issues, you’re likely to experience physical problems.

Many people are tempted to dismiss unexplained aches and pains as part of the normal aging process, but back pain, headaches, and sore muscles can be signs of depression.

4. Decreased Energy

Depression can zap your energy and cause you to feel lethargic and tired most of the time. Many people dismiss their exhaustion, thinking, “Well, I haven’t been sleeping lately,” or, “My workload causes me to be tired all the time.”

But consider how your energy level may have shifted over time. If small tasks now tire you or take longer to complete, you may be depressed.

Amy Morin
Amy Morin
Amy Morin is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, college psychology instructor, and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, an international bestselling book that is being translated into more than 25 languages.

Related Posts


Recent Stories