Recent years have seen a major increase in mental health awareness in society. As a result, it’s now much easier to spot depressed people, and these words are thought to be telltale signs.
Depressed People are Recognizable
Depression and other aspects of mental health are incredibly complex, so it takes years of education to become an expert. Hours of studying, assessing human interaction, and understanding how traumas all impact the brain are just some examples of research. However, caring medical professionals have shared bits of insight over the years regarding depressed people. Most often the information circulates during Suicide Awareness Month and Suicide Prevention Month in hopes of saving lives. Fortunately, some signs are common and can easily be spotted in a loved one or even oneself.
Common Symptoms of Depressed People
Saying “Always” or “Never”.
People occasionally use this kind of “all or nothing thinking” when dealing with stress or frustration. Alternatively, depressed people get stuck in an everlasting cycle of “absolutist language”. The theme of most of their conversations become negative and even a little draining. “The frontal lobes of the brain are negatively affected when depression occurs.” Dr. Deborah Serani shared. Therefore, “judgment, thinking, and reasoning are impaired, which can lead to all-or-nothing thinking.”
“Once the symptoms of depression reduce and recovery occurs, most depressed individuals have a greater range of solutions. A solid sense of judgment, and less rigid thinking.” She concluded.
Depressed people are unable to get themselves out of bed or brush their teeth. While it’s a sign of good mental health to know your limits, depressed people will often use the phrase. “A lot of depressed individuals also use the word ‘can’t’ a lot. I can’t feel better, I can’t get my work done, I can’t get out of bed, I can’t get things to be good.” Dr. Serani explained. “The illness of depression has foreclosed the possibility of many, many things.”
“It’s All My Fault”
Although it’s also a sign of good mental health to take responsibility for your actions or mistakes you may have made, constantly blaming yourself is a sign that you may be depressed. Unfortunately, things happen that are often unpreventable or unpredictable. However, depressed people are more likely to take all the blame, even in those instances. “Depression creates a pattern of negative thinking because the illness impairs frontal lobe functioning, where reasoning and judgment take place, so many depressed people feel guilty about the way they feel,” says Serani.
She also explains that these are the thoughts that lead to suicide attempts. People think, “they’re a burden, or too much to handle for family and loved ones, suicidal thinking can take over: ‘If I’m gone, I won’t be a burden to anyone anymore. This negative kind of thinking is vital to take note of.” She explained.
Depressed people Commonly Say, “I’m Fine“
Most of us know this one. It’s a short, sometimes cold response given to someone when something is very clearly wrong, but we don’t want to address it. “Some may find the stigma of having a mental illness too shameful to deal with, and many will wear a smile on their face instead of revealing their enormous pain.” Serani shared.
Although most of us experience this feeling at some point throughout the day, depressed people constantly find themselves in a state of exhaustion. “Fatigue and aches and pain are related to the inflammation that comes with depression because it affects neural pathways and neurochemicals,” Dr. Serani shared.
“I Want to be Alone”
It’s normal for people to want some quiet downtime to recharge emotionally. In contrast, depressed people will spend most, if not all, of their time alone. They will isolate themselves and shut down from the people they love. “The neurobiology of depression reduces an enormous amount of brain activity, so a depressed person will likely stay out of stimulating experiences, preferring darker rooms, quiet settings, and being away from others,” Serani says. Alternatively, she notes, these stimulating experiences are exactly what depressed people need.
Depressed People Often Say, “No One Cares“
“Depressed people experience a tunnel vision when it comes holding onto hope for the future—again, the frontal lobes of the brain are restricting problem-solving and reasonable judgment.” Serani shared. Therefore, depressed people will often feel so isolated that they both, don’t care about other people’s problems and feel like no one cares about them or their problems.
Solutions & Support
If you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, there are countless options available to you. Treatment for depression is multifactorial and can include many approaches, from in-person therapy, to medications and to modifiable lifestyle factors like stress reduction techniques and exercise.
It’s important to note that not every cause or solution will apply to all depressed people. Depressed people tend to need more love, patience, and compassion from those around them.
Therefore, their loved ones may have to, at times, pick up the slack. Remember that healthy and happy symbiotic relationships require work and “give and take” from both parties. Building communities is all about supporting one another, but that’s only possible if we balance that with finding time to nourish and support ourselves as well.
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- “13 Common Words and Phrases That May Signal Depression.” The Healthy. Tina Donvito. June 28, 2022.
- “These common words and phrases may signal Depression.” Inc.com. Minda Zetlin.