Silent depression can be very common in this fast-paced world. Of the (underestimated) 350 million in the world who experience depression, a large portion might not seek out help due to shame, embarrassment, pride, culture, or lack of available resources.
I felt a strong compulsion to share this article from Power of Positivity because it hits very close to home. I experienced nearly all of these symptoms from July to September of this year: even though my mom had passed months prior, my mind and body were able to hold on for nearly seven months before I collapsed under the weight of climbing work expectations, managing my mom’s scattered estate, dealing with personal grief, and navigating complex interpersonal relationship stresses following my return from the Philippines. In addition to the symptoms below: I also experienced a pretty heavy dose of brain fog, which made it impossible to be productive for even a couple hours at a time.
Common symptoms of silent depression:
- Withdrawal from activities, work, or school
- No energy
- Eating too much or too little
- Trouble sleeping
- Substance abuse
- Faking emotions
For me, not many people noticed – not right away at least. The lack of structure at work made it easy for me to drop off the grid, citing working remotely. I kept up with my social calendar as a feeble attempt at counteract these symptoms with a bit of extroversion. Being alone was crushing, but given everyone knew that “this year was eventful”, my “off-ness” seemed to be more or less normative.
I did not realize the extent to my own suffering until my absence from work finally became a noticeable issue to my mentors, and I was forced to confront the fact I’d emotionally run myself dry. By the end: I hadn’t seen my office in weeks, my apartment was a smelly mess (I’m still dealing with pesky fruitflies that won’t go away), my relationship had crashed to rock bottom, I’d lost meaningful connections, and I hadn’t kept up with my finances – made more complicated from all my travel this year.
I had the immense luck of being around 2-3 genuine good souls to finally reach out to, even if I didn’t have a tight relationship with them right away. One simple conversation and coffee started a few more, and then tinier, progressive steps to getting the personal and professional support I needed. It’s been two months since taking a step toward mental health healing, and I’m so glad I did it.
A small check-in or expressing that you’ve been thinking about someone could be the difference. I know it was for me.
Brain Fog: A Symptom of Depression: https://www.healthyplace.com/depression/symptoms/brain-fog-a-symptom-of-depression
Greenberg et al., (2015). The economic burden of adults iwth Major Depressive Disorder in the United States (2005 and 2010). Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 76(2), 155-162. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2a0f/0218f857e39e2576a024e1c484c9edc1a9e7.pdf