The rate of depression is growing at an astounding rate. And the more people who suffer from it, the more keep their mental health condition to themselves .
The secretive behavior of depression can leave a loved one frantically concerned. Always on the lookout for a sign that may pinpoint how this person feels. And for the person suffering from depression, the habits they develop can leave themselves feeling more and more helpless.
If you’re in this position now, there is help available – even when it’s not through family and friends. It’s important to reach out because, as we’ll discuss later, habits of depression can quickly escalate through both physical and psychological damage.
If you’ve had suicidal thoughts, you’re in need of immediate help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1 (800) 273-8255.
Throughout this article, we’re going to look over the various habits brought upon by depression. At the end, we invite you to ask further questions.
1. You’ve Obtained Irregular Lifestyle Habits
After receiving depression, you may notice two distinct differences in your lifestyle :
- You Eat Irregularly – Whether you’re eating too much or too little, an irregular eating habit along with a bad diet can be a sign of depression. Sometimes, a person struggling with depression will overconsume food as a coping mechanism. Other times, especially when one is dissatisfied with their body, they’ll prevent themselves from eating.
- You Sleep Irregularly – Whether you’re sleeping too much or too little, an irregular sleeping habit can develop after depression. In general, we all differ when it comes to our sleep patterns. The same is true for people struggling with depression. Some may find themselves up all night, unable to catch any rest, while others may develop will sleep long hours, sometimes throughout the whole day.
However, changes in lifestyle habits due to depression can go much further. You may find yourself no longer interested in activities that once made you happy. Or you may disconnect yourself from people who once held importance in your life.
More often than not, these changes in lifestyle habits vary from one person to another. We’re all different and, in turn, will be affected by depression differently. This point is important as you’ll most likely try to figure out how this illness affects YOU.
If you can map out where depression hits the hardest – whether it be your sleep pattern or disconnection with others – you’re one step closer to recovering. With knowledge of how depression affects YOU, you have a better chance of overcoming future obstacles.
2. You’re Cries Have Gone Unanswered
Have you attempted to reach out to others in concern about your depression? Do you feel you’re developing habits of depression and have tried to discuss it with those close to you?
Did your attempts to converse about these issues go unanswered?
The unfortunate truth, depression along with other mental illnesses still faces stigma in society . You aren’t alone if, when trying to talk about depression, you were met with a response along the lines of, “just get over it.”
Though you may have felt retaliation when you received this response, it’s important to understand many people still aren’t aware of how depression affects one’s life.
If depression were as obvious as a physical injury, you wouldn’t have to try to explain yourself at all. Someone would simply have to open their eyes to get the picture.
But since the illness solely exists within you, it’s necessary for you to paint a picture.
Of course, many still won’t understand no matter how vivid this picture is. But that doesn’t mean help isn’t out there.
Instead of reaching out to those around you, try talking to your doctor, psychiatrist, counselor, or spiritual guider (i.e. priest).
3. You Self-Medicate with Drugs or Alcohol
The rising rates of mental illness are parallel to the increasing trends in drug and alcohol addiction .
When you’re feeling at your lowest, do you find yourself craving some kind of substance? Or have you found a substance to be effective in temporarily taking you out of depression?
In either case, you’re showing signs of a psychological dependence on drugs and alcohol. This dependence comes at a risk as substance abuse can lead to other problems that weren’t initially a factor.
If you or a loved one is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, it’s important to seek out a reputable treatment facility as soon as possible.
4. You’ve Developed a Great Deal of Anxiety
Anxiety and depression have a very strong relationship with one another and you aren’t alone if you feel both .
Depression sometimes initiates feelings of anxiety. For example, due to irregular sleep patterns, disconnection from social events, or a lack of interest in activities, you might develop anxiety.
On the flip side of the coin, anxiety can initiate depression. For example, you might find yourself retreating from socializing due to a social anxiety disorder. Or you may find yourself constantly worrying about something you have no control over. Both examples can lead to isolation and that is a prominent factor of depression.
In either case, having to handle symptoms of both anxiety and depression is very difficult for people. Over time, it can lead them to feel hopeless, helpless, and very pessimistic about their future.
5. You Can’t Help But Feel Pessimistic
Do you feel as though there is no hope in your future or society’s? Do you believe that, no matter what you do, it won’t make a difference in the long run?
Researchers have been heavily looking into this matter as more young people today have developed pessimistic attitudes in comparison to previous generations . In effect, many are also developing depression.
There are many speculations as to why this trend has recently occurred. Many have pointed their fingers at social media and a “disconnection in natural socializing”. Though this is probably a contributor, the topic of growing pessimism is so broad, there are many factors to explore.
The point isn’t what’s causing pessimism, it that it’s happening particularly more with the current generation than those prior. And, with that, many are desperate to find something to be optimistic about.
If you are in this position, it’s important to reach out to a mental health professional. S/he will not only be able to offer you insight on all you have to be grateful of but the many aspects of life you can still look forward to experiencing.
6. You’ve Faked Many Aspects of Yourself
On the topic of social media, it’s grown a reputation as a platform for people to pretend to be living a happier lifestyle than reality entails.
Yet, even beyond social media, people with depression will hide their genuine feelings from the rest of the world. Most of the time, this is their way of preventing the negative aspects of their psychology from appearing to others.
This is a very dangerous way for one to go about living their life. If you’re currently holding the mindset of “fake it till you make it”, it’s extremely important you take a step back and try to understand how this kind of behavior is truly affecting you.
Do you find yourself constantly posting on social media to draw in dopamine-releasing notifications? Do you walk around all day with a fake smile? Or have you found yourself lying on a consistent basis about your true feelings?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, it’s important to seek out professional guidance.
7. You’ve Embarked on a Deep Search for Meaning
Understandably, every person who walks this earth is trying to find their meaning for life. You don’t need depression to have a strong desire for this discovery.
But if you have any of the other six habits along with this one, then your search for meaning is most likely different from others.
People with depression have a tendency to be obsessed with empirical questions. Though many might believe they can discover happiness through this, others are simply looking for an explanation for their depression.
Still have questions about the habits of depression?
We invite you to ask them in the comments section below. If you have any further knowledge on the topic, we’d also love to hear from you.
We try to reply to each legitimate comment in a prompt and personal manner.
 NIMH: Major Depression
 NIMH: Depression: What You Need To Know
 HHS Public Access: Public Stigma of Mental Illness in the United States
 Addiction Science & Clinical Practice: Mood Disorders and Substance Abuse Disorder: A Complex Comorbidity
 HHS: What are the five major types of anxiety disorders?
 The Atlantic: America’s Growing Pessimism