While more and more of us are talking about mental health conditions and understanding and recognizing their symptoms these days, it’s still possible that we don’t always know when a person might be suffering from depression, and here’s why:
Depression can manifest itself differently:
Two individuals suffering from depression may experience totally different symptoms, and the severity can differ significantly, too. While one person may struggle to function on a day to day basis, with depression having taken over their entire life, the other may have a much milder form of the illness and still be able to lead a ‘normal’ life.
The illness can develop slowly:
For some with depression, their symptoms can develop incredibly slowly, with no noticeable change until weeks or months down the line. They may not notice minor changes to their mental health or the way they’re feeling, and then before they realize it, they’re suddenly not able to recognize themselves anymore and are feeling utterly miserable. At this point, while it is never too late to seek help professional help, some damage has already been done, and the individual may find it harder to manage their symptoms alone (before getting help).
Symptoms appear and develop at different times:
Since symptoms of depression may not all come at once, it’s easy to miss the connection between them, and hence for depression to go undiagnosed.
There may be a clear cause for the feelings of depression:
For many who suffer from depression, their feelings are simply exacerbated by an event in their life that we commonly associate with feelings of sadness, such as a loss of some sort. So, they accept that they should be feeling that way because of what has happened and may never suspect that they are suffering from depression.
There may be no clear cause for the feelings of depression:
On the other hand, if a person’s mood is low and there is no apparent cause, they may simply put this down to a predisposition, or conclude that they’re ‘just that type of person’, and never make the connection between their feelings and a mental health condition.
Symptoms of depression may be misunderstood or misinterpreted:
Depression doesn’t always include feelings of sadness; in fact, many sufferers say that they feel numb or disinterested. So, when an individual doesn’t experience overwhelming feelings of sadness, it might be easy for them to discount depression, along with those around them.
Many of us don’t want to be branded as depressed:
While there is certainly a lot less stigma surrounding mental health illnesses than ever before, many individuals still don’t want to be labelled as depressed, and may find it embarrassing or shameful to admit.
If you’re experiencing emotions that you’re struggling to control, believe that you may have a mental health illness, or are simply feeling as if you just need someone to talk to about the way you’re feeling, then take the first step towards feeling better by scheduling an appointment with a professional counselor.