When You’re Not Yourself: Signs and Symptoms of Depression

signs and symptoms of depression

Common signs and symptoms of depression may not include crying or tearfulness

Abbie just turned 26. Those who know her say Abbie is very involved—she’s always enjoyed being busy with sports, friends, gardening, and volunteering. Abbie teaches third grade and loves her job, but lately, something feels different. All the things that once gave Abbie joy feel more like heavy weights holding her down. Sometimes Abbie doesn’t feel like doing anything or seeing anyone because leaving the house sounds too difficult. Abbie’s friends are concerned; she’s stopped answering phone calls and emails. Why does her life feel so drained of color? Abbie is starting to wonder if all the things she believes about herself aren’t true anymore.

In the same way that the signs of joy, guilt, or embarrassment aren’t the same from person to person, depression uniquely manifests itself in your life. Sometimes depression arises from complex personal circumstances but lingers long after the disruption in your life is gone.

No matter how hopeless things have begun to appear, your depression can get better. You can start to feel like yourself again.

What does depression look like?

The predominant image of depression in popular culture is one of extreme sadness. It’s often thought that if you’re depressed, you spend a lot of time crying, sunk low into overwhelming despair. Depression can feel like this sometimes, but not always. There are many other signs and symptoms of depression and crying may not be one of your symptoms.

If you’re depressed, rather than feeling sad all the time, you might instead feel nothing. You could feel lifeless. Maybe you’ve become detached from the people and activities you used to enjoy. Your richest emotional experiences seem too far away to access now.

Depression can also look like anger or irritability, particularly in men. It makes sense that if you’re always feeling trapped and alone, your fuse might be considerably shorter. You might begin to see the love and value you place in your relationships through a darker lens.

Whether you’re filled with despair, can’t access old emotions, or feel constantly agitated, depression hangs over you and affects most areas of your life. Living with depression often makes you feel like you’re not yourself anymore, compounding feelings of hopelessness.

What are common signs and symptoms of depression?

There are many different signs and symptoms of depression. If things in your life have changed for the worse, including the way you see the world, and those feelings last for a long time, it’s possible you could be experiencing depression.

If you’re depressed, your sleep patterns might have changed. Maybe you lie awake at night, unrested. Maybe sleeping is all you feel like you can do.

The things you used to do effortlessly now require more focus and stamina than you think you have. Maybe you tell yourself over and over how much you enjoy doing something but just can’t feel it anymore.

You wear your bad feelings like a pair of glasses—everywhere you look, you can’t help seeing it all through the lens of your sadness or emptiness.

Depression can also hurt physically. Maybe you have aches and pains you can’t trace back to any apparent cause.

If you’ve struggled with depression for long, it can be hard to trust your own perceptions of what’s going on around you. Even if you’re aware that depression is making you feel the way you feel, it can still seem impossible to stem the tide of your depressed thoughts.

How can I get better?

It can be hard to talk about depression and to own up to feelings of unhappiness, but living alone with depression doesn’t help you or the people you love.

No matter how unlikely it seems that you can begin to feel good again, depression really can get better. If you’ve tried to get better but still can’t seem to shake the shadow of depression, depression counseling in Houston can help.


Need help with Depression? Our therapists in Houston are available for face to face sessions as online therapy sessions in limited areas.

To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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