Behind the Brave Face: 7 Secret Signs of Depression

Mental Illnesses

Depression Diaries (Post 2)

If you look around see someone who looks sad, they may be just that – sad. Life is full of ups and downs so it is natural for our moods to adjust to different circumstances. Feeling down in the dumps from time to time and grieving is normal (NHS U.K, n.d; Winch, 2015). It is when sadness turns into something more gradually, the inner demon depression is born in yet another victim.

A common misconception is depressed sufferers have monotonous personalities. However, it is a complicated emotional state that affects people behaviours differently. Someone who is depressed may loathe themselves, feel helpless, hopeless and upset (Mind.org.uk, 2016) although, the extent of what is felt and how they act varies.

A mildly depressed person can get through daily life holding down a job or running a family home. Whilst, a clinically depressed individual struggles to get through each day and may live a double life. Sustaining a double life for some is just too much to handle. In the U.K and Ireland alone, more than 6,000 people commit suicide, ISAP cited in (Mental Health Foundation, 2017).

 

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My last post touched upon that the disease does not exhibit in one stereotypical face. Depression can pursue your colleague or peer – the person you admire most or even decide to seek you. No one should believe they are immune from the black fogs wrath. Unfortunately, 1 in 10 people in England will suffer from clinical depression in their lifetime (NHS U.K, 2016) but many more go undiagnosed. Even those with diagnoses may still conceal it because they believe their curse will be a burden on others…

If you aren’t aware of the hidden signs of depression it is easy to overlook requesting help for yourself or a loved one in need. After all, how can you notice something you don’t understand? This post is to help you reflect on yours and others’ behaviour, to identify whether symptoms are apparent, to gain support to manage and relieve them.

 


7 Secret Signs of Depression (Part 1)

1.Withdrawal

A depressed person will try their best to avoid social activities. Periods of silent isolation is one of the main signs that an individual is being tortured by depression. When someone becomes depressed it is not unusual for them to lose interest in everything and everyone. Where he or she may have once been the party starter, now they are the party pooper and may even call into work sick.withdrawal

They may still make plans with you, trying to keep up the ‘happy’ pretence. However, in reality they have turned into ‘king’ or ‘queen’ bail’. Someone who consistently lets you down is likely to be suffering from depression.

 


2.Excuse O’clock

When you realise you were lied to it is hard to trust the person who lied to you. Yet, it is unlikely you will taste dishonesty from depressed people – they are  semi-professional liars.

clock

They have the skill of making up believable cover stories on the spot for pretty much anything. Lies could be to hide how they got scars on their body (when they have had a self-harming sesh) to an excuse of why they need to leave somewhere rapidly. Although, they mastered lying tell-tale signs of their illness is that they have an answer for EVERYTHING and are very defensive.

 


3. Mean Girl… or Boy

A depressed person over analyses themselves and others people obsessively. They do this is because they are so unhappy with their appearance and/or personality that they begin to look for what they desire in others. At the same time when that individual finds traits in someone else they despise in themselves they give off the impression over being over judgemental and a royal b*tch. From experience, chances are that b*tch is extremely insecure and depressed too.

girl


4. Conversation Changes

A closed book who avoids expressing their feelings and subjects is likely to be depressed. Of course, it is possible that he or she will bleed out their feelings but usually this in a philosophical manner. If you find yourself or a loved one turning the conversation to life or death, or what the route is to a happier life and no philosophy or R.E books have been studied. Then, you are certainly hearing little indicators of depression.


5. Substance Abuse Perceptions

We all know drugs are bad – right? Not exactly. A depressed person views substances differently to a healthy one. I want you to think of your favourite food, – could you live without it? If someone is a user they see them as necessities to get through the next day. Even if they’re not a user, they may consider it as a viable option to wash away their pain… to be happy again (even if they know it’s temporary).


6. The Mechanisms of Intense Feelings

A person masking depression will often feel emotions more intensely than others. Do you find yourself or know someone whom bursts out in floods of tears watching television over a scene that isn’t sad? Or see red about something trivial like someone overtaking them in a shop queue or in traffic? Well that is personifying the clouds of gloom. The only way some depressed suffers know how to channel their depression is through anger and irritability (Koh et al., 2002).


triple

7. *Incoming* Triple Threat…

Failure, Rejection and Abandonment. The three ingredients a depressed person wishes their mind could shield. There is nothing worse than finding out someone you love cannot handle your worse layer. The fear or rejection and abandonment forges the need to be secretive so they don’t walk away. If you or someone else strongly fears the triple threat, then you may be depressed.


So, there we have it guys, 7 secret signs of depression unveiled. I hope you found it useful whether you think you or a loved one may be suffering from the condition.


Do you think you or a loved one could have depression?

Resources

United Kingdom

Depression UK: Supports those suffering from depression

info@depressionuk.org 

Samaritans UK: A helpline for those who feels heavy distress or suicidal. The helpline does not show up on phone bills also.

116 223 – Free helpline (My personal favourite)

08457 90 90 90*

*This number still works to get through for Samaritans but you will be charged for the call.

SaneLine: (6pm-11pm, open every day of the year) provides support to those suffering from mental health problems)

Young Minds (Under 25 years old): A UK based charity committed to improving children and young people’s mental health.

020 7089 5050

U.S.A

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Adolescent Suicide Helpline

1-800-621-4000


Over to You

Can you think of more hidden signs of Depression? – If yes, why not share them below?


 

Sharing is Caring

I would love if you shared my post to raise awareness of some of the hidden signs of Depression.


About the Author

My name is Morgan Isabella Shaw a warrior of clinical depression. To find out more about my story click here.


Coming UP Next…

Behind the Brave Face: 7 More Secret Signs of Depression (Part 2)


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References  

Koh KB, Kim CH, Park JK (2002) ‘Predominance of anger in depressive disorders compared with anxiety disorders and somatoform disorders’. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry; 63: 486–92.

OpenUrlMental Health Foundation. (2017). Suicide. [online] Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/s/suicide [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

Mind.org.uk (2016). Symptoms | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems. [online] Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/depression/symptoms/#.WcOdoZWWzIU [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

NHS U.K. (2016). Clinical depression – NHS Choices. [online] Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Depression/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

NHS U.K. (N.d). Dealing with grief and loss – NHS Choices. [online] Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/emotionalhealth/Pages/Dealingwithloss.aspx [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

Winch (2015). Psychology Today. The Important Difference Between Sadness and Depression. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201510/the-important-difference-between-sadness-and-depression [Accessed 21 Sep. 2017].

 

 

Slaying the Double Depression

Mental Illnesses

Depression Diaries (Post 1)

A HTML edited version, republished by SANE Mental Health Charity on behalf of Brains and Bodies: 12th October 2017

I want us to start with you picturing a depressed person. What do you see? A face of poor health, a mind drowning in a tsunami of negativity, locked up in a dim and dirty bedroom, feeling sorry for themselves? Does this sound about right?

“The truth is depression doesn’t have one face, it’s a shape shifter sifting through the black clouds in the night”.

It is always adjusting in those affected whilst on the hunt seeking its next victims. There is a common misconception that sadness is the same as depression (Mental Health Foundation, 2017). However, sadness is a transient feeling, that everyone experiences –actually it is normal (NIMH, n.d). It is true that both are intrinsically linked; sadness lays the foundations for it. Nonetheless, it is when sadness intensifies and engulfs you for many months or years, you’ve enter the black hole of depression that defines you. Unlike sadness, depression is a battle for life and must be managed to prevent suicide.

sad girl


During my teens, I was caught by clinical depression. For those of you who know me, this is old news, but for majority who don’t-let me introduce myself.

“My name is Morgan Isabella Shaw and welcome to my mental illness”.

I just want to make it clear, depression does not make me unique. According to (Mind, 2017) research carried out in 2016 showed approximately, 3.3 in 100 Britons share a similar diagnosis. What makes me different to some of those with it, is I was diagnosed at a time when it wasn’t openly discussed. There was a stigma attached to it. When I looked at the media there was no valiant celebrities advocates getting paid a bomb to be in a TV campaign or a front page in the newspaper. It was 2006, the economic boom, smiles surrounding me. For many, depression was not known to be on the horizon.

Let’s, fast forward to now. Things have changed a lot, since I was a teen. With one tap on Google you can find a stream of resources, blogs, Vlogs, celebrity’s stories with the public showing them support. So, it should be easier for me to speak about it- right? No, it’s never easy to talk about depression. It’s never easy, to share a poisoned mind.


“Many people don’t know why became depressed and if you asked me…I would say the same”.

Not discussing depression isn’t to spare people the intrinsic details, it’s because it is so hard to pinpoint the exact day you felt numb and empty. The day where you isolate yourself and everything you once enjoyed was abandoned. The day when nothing could make you feel better and take away your heart throbbing pain.

However, I can remember the exact causes of episodes of sadness. The first time I felt strong sadness was when I was sexually assaulted in school. Why, I will never know. I often caught nits, I didn’t wear makeup and hadn’t hit puberty – I was pancake girl. Lots of other situations of sadness involved my mother. Parents evening would arrive but there would be no sign of her.me and mum

When I became sick in hospital and she was more interested in why other patients were there. She would come to the school but not to see me. She spent her time talking to other mothers and I would walk home alone.

There were no Birthday or Christmas celebrations anymore nor family meals. In fact, I fed myself cereal twice a day, every day for years. I was also always compared to my siblings who were more academic, which made me feel worthless. As they were getting put in the top sets of English, Maths and Science I was struggling to string one paragraph together.

Roughly around this time, one of my brothers would beat me black and blue and nothing was really done to stop it. I mean, he would get told off but he knew he could get away with it time and time again, and he did. My mother’s interest in my life was slowly coming to a halt. I couldn’t fathom out what I had done to make this relationship break-down. I spent hours and days torturing myself, thinking about it.What I didn’t know was I had not done anything wrong. My mother was depressed, something I hadn’t experienced yet, something I didn’t even know existed.


“Depression runs in some family trees”.

family tree

Genetics are involved in depression but this does not mean a child will automatically inherit it. They are just more susceptible to it (All about Depression, n.d; Beyond Blue, 2017). The reason for this is because there are various personal and life factors that can cause someone to become depressed. This made sense, when I thought about it. Situations that can cause one person to come depressed may only cause sadness in another, everyone sensitivity levels are different.

I thought this title of this post was fitting because my mother and now battle the condition at the same time. We both have experienced trauma and poor health for starters. However, the main causes of my mother’s depression stems back from her childhood when she was singled out. She was beaten and treated like a slave by her mother. Washing, ironing, tidying and cooking for a family of six – she was expected to do it all. She didn’t have a childhood. She lost contact with her father for about 20 years for supporting her mother.

I am thankful she reconciled with her father and a couple of her siblings, that she has found some peace. However, she still does not have a relationship with her dying mother. Mine – Samantha, had been putting on a brave face for many years. She saw the symptoms of depression in me but she was ill too. To ill, to put me first. It is easy for people to forget depression is an illness when one key symptom of it – sadness is not.


“Depression developed roughly around the time my brother attempted suicide for the first time”.

I often look back and think, why was I feeling depressed? I didn’t wish my brother dead but we had never had a bond or a good relationship. As my parents were in flood of tears, my other brother and I sat in shock as we watched our sibling be sectioned. Every week, my parents would visit my brother but we did not discuss him. One day my parents returned from the hospital both l with different body language. I was then told I was not able to live with them anymore. Ryan was coming home and it wasn’t safe he was threatening to kill me. Due to his violent nature towards me in the past everyone was taking the death threat seriously.

I found this very unfair as a teenager. I thought he should move out and take free housing from the council because I wasn’t entitled to anything. I moved in with my mother’s friend but I didn’t belong there – I didn’t belong anywhere. You may be thinking, I was selfish and my brother needed my parents more than me and there is veracity in this.

However, I became brokenwhen I heard my mother had told people that she loved my brother more. My mother even lost a friend over that and then begrudged me. Amongst other things, this made me begin to have trust issues with other people. I felt betrayed and alone, I thought if my mother didn’t want me, no one would. Ever since then I went from one failed relationship to another. People just wanted to use me for something because they could.

Depression does not make you weak but it’s certainly makes you vulnerable. All rationality goes out the window and it’s easy to make bad decisions. Legal and illegal drugs  enabled me to escape. You tell yourself it’s a short-term fix, but it just made everything worse. The problem I have now that I have cut down alcohol and stopped all narcotics, I still feel depressed. The only difference is sometimes I have hope I will feel a real smile once again.

me nfriend


When people look back at me they do not the sorrow in my panda eyes, nor the pain behind them. They see big bright hazel eyes, a smile and the girl cracking jokes. Why would they believe someone who appeared so happy was so miserable? Well I suppose I am just good at keeping my SHIZ together now. When I opened up to anyone, they would run a mile and I curl back up into my ball of loneliness punishing myself for trying to be honest. Depression is a vicious circle, it is a concoction of emotions. Not only pro-longed sadness spells. For me itsanxiety, tearfulness, insecurity, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, impatience, sadness, hopelessness, worthlessness and feeling empty all at once. I often confuse myself how I can feel everything but nothing at the same time.

I wake up wondering why I am still alive thinking of all the ways I could kill myself, staying in bed all day. Sometimes I don’t even brush my hair or teeth, or eat breakfast and hope that the next day has passed. I worry about the future and that I will end up in a ditch from an overdose somewhere. I spend so much time worrying about bad things that could happen I don’t seem to make a future. I suppose this all comes down to me having control issues somewhere along the line and how much I fear failure and rejection. Where exactly, I couldn’t tell you. I am soon to be trying to figure this out with yet another therapist. I just believe I am extremely ugly and no one likes me.

I have it drummed into my head you have to be really clever or beautiful, to be successfulconvincedI have neither of these qualities. It is difficult to accept yourself, when the media portrays an image of perfection – something that doesn’t exist. A depressed persons thoughts are their only reality. They often say I am not an optimist, I am a realist.

Even surrounded by people I just don’t know how to feel happiness. I don’t get close to people because I don’t want to rely on them to try and be cheerful. As I scour over Facebook and see people with solid friendships, and others in relationships, getting engaged or married and having babies I can’t help but be jealous, believing I will never have that. I can’t seem to trust anyone and push everyone away from just being me – that’s the most difficult part. Medication, didn’t seem to do much for me (probably from drinking too much alcohol) and actually made me more depressed and sent me to the same hospital my brother had previously been. The difference was I have the gift of the gab and a way of talking myself out of those situations.


Back to the Future…

My mother was sent on a parenting course and now she cooks me meals and we socialise on a daily basis when I am not at University. We do have a better relationship, but funnily enough now I am an adult she treats me like a child. I appreciate her more now but I have become more resentful as I live in the past and have to be very careful what I tell her. The way she manages her depression is by speaking to her friends about all the nunny and cracks and everything in between. We both shared additional mental rough patches recently due to her having a tumour – which thankfully turned out to be a benign one. At the same time she had a pulmonary embolism in her lungs and my physical health deteriorated during my University exams due to stress.

In a way, I think blogging is saving me, it releases some of those emotions. I mean even if I am being judged it isn’t by someone I know. My mother and I can’t help but care to much about what people think of us. As, we are already depressed negative situations just add on like a paper chain. We must make a conscious effort to align our mental and physical health and take small but positive steps to see more than blue – and you can too.


I know this has been super long post so … if your still here in Morgan’s world, thanks a bunch.

The next posts in this series, will give you tips on how to manage depression, how to look for hidden signs of depression in someone else and how to support those suffering from it.

                    I would love to hear your thoughts on speaking openly about Depression.

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If you feel alone and depressed and need support immediately you can contact any of these organisations, who can help!!

United Kingdom

Depression UK: Supports those suffering from depression

info@depressionuk.org 

Samaritans UK: A helpline for those who feels heavy distress or suicidal. The helpline does not show up on phone bills also.

116 223 – Free helpline (My personal favourite)

08457 90 90 90*

*This number still works to get through for Samaritans but you will be charged for the call.

SaneLine: (6pm-11pm, open every day of the year) provides support to those suffering from mental health problems)

Young Minds (Under 25 years old): A UK based charity committed to improving children and young people’s mental health.

020 7089 5050

U.S.A

National Suicide Prevention Helpline

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

National Adolescent Suicide Helpline

1-800-621-4000


References

All About Depression: Causes. 2017. All About Depression: Causes. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.allaboutdepression.com/cau_03.html. [Accessed 05 September 2017].

Mental Health Foundation. 2017. Depression | Mental Health Foundation. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/d/depression. [Accessed 05 September 2017].

MIND (2017) How common are mental health problems? | Mind, the mental health charity – help for mental health problems. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/statistics-and-facts-about-mental-health/how-common-are-mental-health-problems/#.Wa3uRJWWz4g. [Accessed 05 September 2017].

NIMH » Depression: What You Need To Know. (N.d). NIMH » Depression: What You Need To Know. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-what-you-need-to-know/index.shtml. [Accessed 04 September 2017].

Beyond Blue (2017). What causes depression . [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression/what-causes-depression. [Accessed 05 September 2017].