Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects almost seven percent of the American population. Unfortunately, not all the symptoms of depression are obvious. Of these, the vast majority (eighty percent) won’t seek treatment, although it is a very treatable condition. The number of people with clinical depression increases by about twenty percent each year. (1)
The Dangers of Depression
Depression has become prevalent even in school-aged children. (2) Yet MDD remains an almost invisible pall on the mental health of society.
For the eighty percent who are either undiagnosed or not receiving treatment, their depression is concealed but no less real. They go about their daily lives, aware that they are beyond sad, and donning a face of “normality” so others don’t suspect the pain they feel. We’ve itemized below some tell-tale signs of concealed depression so you can recognize it in a loved one (or yourself!).
Only with recognition and compassion can those who agonize with this hidden burden be supported and helped to work through its pitfalls and rise again to a state of good mental health.
Sadness isn’t the same as depression; watch the video below to learn the differences.
13 Symptoms of Depression
There can be a multitude of reasons why people battling depression may wish to keep it hidden, most prominently:
- Fear of ridicule or stigmatization
- Fear of sharing their innermost thoughts and feelings/trust
- Feeling that no one else can understand (or wants to try)
- Thinking they are beyond help.
Depression is a mental state in which someone feels unmotivated, irritable, sad, disinterested, discouraged, and/or hopeless for an extended period, to the point that these feelings interfere with routine daily function. Some may have thoughts of suicide. (3) If we know what to look for, we may be able to see behind the façade to help someone in need.