This story was originally published on The Mighty.
Most people imagine depression equals really sad, and unless youve experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine its different for everyone.
To find out how depression shows itself in ways other people cant see, we asked The Mighty mental health community to share one thing people dont realize theyre doing because they have depression.
Heres what they had to say:
1. In social situations, some people dont realize I withdraw or dont speak much because of depression. Instead, they think Im being rude or purposefully antisocial. Laura B.
2. I struggle to get out of bed, sometimes for hours. Then just the thought of taking a shower is exhausting. If I manage to do that, I am ready for a nap. People dont understand, but anxiety and depression is exhausting, much like an actual physical fight with a professional boxer. Juli J.
3. Agreeing to social plans but canceling last minute. Using an excuse but really you just chickened out. It makes you think your friends dont actually want to see you, they just feel bad. Obligation. Brynne L.
4. Hiding in my phone. Yes, I am addicted to it, but not like other people. I dont socialize, I play games or browse online stores to distract myself from my negative thoughts. Its my safe bubble. Eveline L.
5. Going to bed at 9 p.m. and sleeping throughout the night until 10 or 11 a.m. Karissa D.
6. Isolating myself, not living up to my potential at work due to lack of interest in anything, making self-deprecating jokes. Ive said many times before, I laugh, so that I dont cry. Unfortunately, its all too true. Kelly K.
7. When I reach out when Im depressed its cause I am wanting to have someone to tell me Im not alone. Not because I want attention. Tina B.
8. I dont like talking on the phone. I prefer to text. Less pressure there. Also being anti-social. Not because I dont like being around people, but because Im pretty sure everyone cant stand me. Meghan B.
9. I overcompensate in my work environment and I work front line at a Fitness Centre, so I feel the need to portray an extra happy, bubbly personality. As soon as I walk out the doors at the end of the day, I feel myself fall. Its exhausting I am a professional at hiding it. Lynda H.
10. The excessive drinking. Most people assume Im trying to be the life of the party or just like drinking in general. I often get praised for it. But my issues are much deeper than that. Teresa A.
11. Hiding out in my room for hours at a time watching Netflix or Hulu to distract my mind or taking frequent trips to the bathroom or into another room at social gatherings because social situations sometimes get to me. Kelci F.
12. Saying Im tired or dont feel good they dont realize how much depression can affect you physically as well as emotionally. Lauren G.
13. Answering slowly. It makes my brain run slower, and I cant think of the answers to the questions as quickly. Especially when someone is asking what I want to do I dont really want anything. I isolate myself so I dont have to be forced into a situation where I have to respond because its exhausting. Erin W.
14. Sometimes Ill forget to eat all day. I can feel my stomach growling but dont have the willpower to get up and make something to eat. Kenzi I.
15. I dont talk much in large groups of people, especially when I first meet them. I withdraw because of my anxiety and depression. People think Im stuck up. Im actually scared out of my mind worrying they dont like me, or that they think Im crazy by just looking at me Hanni W.
16. Not keeping in touch with anyone, bad personal hygiene and extremely bad reactions to seemingly trivial things. Jenny B.
17. Being angry, mean or rude to people I love without realizing it in the moment. I realize my actions and words later and feel awful I had taken out my anger on people who dont deserve it. Christie C.
18. Purposely working on the holidays so I can avoid spending time with family. Its overwhelming to be around them and to talk about the future and life so I avoid it. Aislinn G.
19. My house is a huge mess. Cynthia H.
20. I volunteer for everything, from going to PTO meetings to babysitting to cleaning someone elses house for them. I surround myself with situations and obligations that force me to get out of bed and get out of the house because if Im not needed, I wont be wanted. Carleigh W.
21. Overthinking everything and over-planning. The need to make everything perfect and everyone happy, even if its taking all my energy. As if validation from someone else will make it all better. Sometimes I start out on high power, then just crash and dont even enjoy what Ive spent weeks/months planning. And no one will see me for months after, as I retreat into my safe bubble. Vicki G.
22. I smile all the time even though I dont really want to, but I do it because I dont feel like Im allowed to be sad when Im with other people. I also do whatever it takes to make someone else happy because since I dont feel happy most of the time, it just makes me feel a little better seeing someone else happy. I also isolate myself even though sometimes I really just want someone around. Wendy E.
23. People dont realize I say sorry before I even think about expressing any opinions because thats how worthless I feel. Im apologizing for feeling anything about anything because thats how little I feel I matter. They dont just know I feel like apologizing for even breathing in their general direction. I even say Im sorry before asking to use the bathroom no matter how long Ive held it. I feel like a burden for biological needs I have no control over. Amy Y.
24. Neglecting to do basic things like laundry, not wanting to cook a meal or eat. They think Im being lazy. Rebecca R.
25. Sometimes Ill go days without speaking to anybody. People tend to believe Im ignoring them on purpose when really I am just lost within myself. I dont mean to seem like Im pushing people away. Some days its hard when my thoughts consume me and when I cant find the motivation to do simple things that others do on a daily basis. Alyssa A.
26. People dont realize I cant say no without feeling guilty. I have to have a good enough reason for everything I do. I guess its customary to try and convince someone to change their answer, but people have no idea how much it takes for me to say no in the first place. I feel worthless so much that I feel guilty for even thinking of putting my needs or wants first. Then I just feel like a doormat when I cave into the pressure. Its a never-ending cycle. Amy Y.
27. I push away/cut off everyone who I care about because I cant bear to be hurt by them! Everyone just thinks Im mean and anti-social. Tina R.
28. Going for late night walks by myself. My depression keeps me awake at night and my thoughts can get so overwhelming I feel physically crowded inside. Late night walks help me quiet the screaming in my head. Lynnie L.
29. I have often been accused of having no sense of humor. So wrong. Before depression took over my life, I smiled and laughed as much as the next person. Now, having lived with depression for over 15 years, the humor I find in a joke or situation is rarely visible on my face or heard in my laugh. I feel humor, but its just too much effort to express it. I dont have the energy. Martha W.
30. Keeping the house dark is a comfort thing for me. People always point it out, like, No wonder youre so depressed. You need to let some light in. Darkness in my living space makes me feel comfortable, almost like Im not alone. Good days, Im all about the sunshine! Michelle T.
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