Have you ever wondered why some people seem to exude happiness while you may feel stuck feeling less-than-happy? You may question what you are missing. You may also think that you have a right to be happy with your life but struggle to convey that.
Depression isn’t something that you’ll see out in the open. Sometimes, it’s not easy to spot until it’s too late. Depression is more than just sadness and lots of crying. It’s a constant numb feeling that never really goes away, even when someone engages in activities that they used to enjoy. So how do you recognize it? You have to look for other signs to tell whether a person is depressed.
Just asking if they are isn’t going to give you a definite answer either. Instead, there are some unusual habits that people who are hiding their depression have. So maybe taking a look at these will give you some insight into the kind of people who are more prone to depression, especially those you may not think are depressed.
Unhappiness may be expressed through talents such as drawing. Pixabay
30. Unhappy individuals may possess unique talents and be able to express their feelings more effectively.
Don’t misunderstand this to mean that sadness and depression can make you a more skilled person. However, there is a correlation between those who are expressive in their everyday lives and higher risks of depression. No one knows for sure. However, it could be because they’re so attuned with their moods and feelings that they tend to be more receptive to negative emotions.
Unhappy people may be able to express their thoughts and feelings through unique art forms. Whether that is painting or drawing, unhappy individuals can often express those emotions in a more detailed way. They may turn to their unique talents to express themselves rather than openly communicating with others because it is easier for them to do so. It may be challenging for them to open up to their loved ones or even a neutral therapist about what they are truly feeling, so turning to a more expressive art form allows them to release their emotions in another way. Other people think that expressive people tend to judge themselves more harshly than people who work in less-expressive occupations. It’s tough to say.
Individuals may put up walls to keep others out when they experience feelings of unhappiness. Pixabay
29. They may have high defense mechanisms.
People who are more prone to depression tend to have higher walls around themselves, emotionally. This is because they don’t want other people to know that something is wrong, so they act fine to keep people at a distance. Unhappy individuals may want to keep others at arm’s length because they don’t want their unhappiness to be a burden to others as well. They may also feel embarrassed or that others will be judgmental, so it is easier to keep those walls up to avoid having those uncomfortable conversations.
They start to learn that they’re very good at hiding their emotions and will use that as a defense mechanism so that no one asks any questions. In fact, they may seem extraordinarily upbeat, bouncy, and very lively. This habit is dangerous for everyone since no one will see the smaller signs that they need help and won’t know anything’s wrong until it’s too late.
Feelings of unhappiness may escalate loneliness. Pixabay
28. Unhappy people may struggle with abandonment issues.
People experiencing depression have a hard enough time trying to let people into their lives. That’s because they don’t want someone else to see them at their worst. However, on the small chances that they let someone in, it can be a lot for that person to take in, and they choose to walk away.
That can be difficult for a depressed person to take, as they soon start to believe that everyone will eventually leave them. It also creates the false belief that their depression will only drive other people away and that it should be kept a secret from the world to want to be around them. However, it is essential to be cautious if you notice your loved ones are pushing people away because it is only further isolating themselves and increasing either sadness or unhappiness.
Feelings of unhappiness can impact you in all areas of your life. Pixabay
27. Sad individuals tend to experience weird eating habits.
There is no in-between for people dealing with depression: they either too much or not enough. You may want to look for sudden changes in weight in either direction and intervene before things worsen. Eating is such a focal point for these types of people because it’s something that they can control.
They can choose to ignore their hunger pains, or they can shovel as much food into their faces as they want. It’s also proven that eating foods that aren’t particularly good for you, such as sugary or fried foods, releases more serotonin into the body. Serotonin is responsible for alleviating moods and reducing anxiety, and that can become like a craving for those with depression.
Unhappy individuals may sleep a lot or not at all. Pixabay
26. They may experience weird sleeping habits.
Sleeping too much or not enough seems to be the pattern for those dealing with depression. Because the body is out of synch with itself, the brain doesn’t know how to react and either released too much melatonin or not enough. Sleep is the second important element to good health, both physically and mentally. The problem here is that rest is also another element that the sufferer has control over. Being able to control at least one thing in their life gives that person some power when they feel like everything else is spiraling out of control.
Unhappy individuals may struggle to fall asleep at night due to overthinking or worrying about what occurred during that day or coming the following day. The lack of sleep at night may cause them to feel the urge to sleep during the day. However, sleeping during the day can further contribute to their odd sleeping habits and create a distance between themselves and the rest of the world.
Thinking about too many things can contribute to overall feelings of unhappiness. Pixabay
25. They are always over-thinking things.
Because people with depression are not in control of their thoughts, they can quickly run away with them. They’re always swimming in a pool of thoughts and emotions, analyzing everything to see what the best outcome will be. Their minds can be a little messy and crowded, at the expense of everything else going on in their lives. This over-thinking can lead to some necessities being forgotten or omitted from their daily schedule altogether.
The fear of failure is a huge, often overlooked reason that many people overthink things and are unhappy. Perhaps you have a goal in mind that you want to achieve. You know you want it, and you know how to make it happen, but your fear of failing is much stronger than your desire to achieve it. That can be a tough pill to swallow and one that is guaranteed to create some uneasy feelings. It is critical to realize that failure is a necessary step to success. Take care not to point it out to them as this may cause them to regress and hide their problems even further.
It may feel like you can only depend on yourself. Pixabay
24. Unhappy people feel the need always to be self-reliant.
Those with depression tend to look to themselves to solve their problems. They don’t seek outside help because they want to feel that sense of control over the situation before them. Many people consider this to be a good trait, as they’re self-reliant, but it can be detrimental to their psyches. Relying on only themselves 100% of the time can get tiring, and even if there’s some sense of fulfillment for completing a job on their own, that feeling never lasts long for a depressed person.
By being self-reliant, they don’t have to worry about being disappointed. This can tie back to the fear of being a burden to others. They do not want to have to depend on others for anything. However, part of having a healthy lifestyle is also knowing when to ask for help when you need it. Life can be difficult, and humans rely on their loved ones to help them navigate all of the challenges. An unhappy individual may be adding to their unhappiness by being so closed off to others’ help.
23. Unhappy individuals are always ready for the worst.
Depressed people are always prepared for the worst to happen. Instead of being hopeful and looking for the silver linings, they always and only expect the worst to happen. They may tell you that they’re just realistic about expectations, but you should realize that something is wrong when those expectations are still negative. It might be time to sit down and talk with them, but don’t force things if they don’t seem interested. Depressed people can get somewhat defensive about their emotions.
Unhappy individuals tend to have a negative mindset already. They may struggle with seeing the positive or having faith because they do not want to face more disappointment. It becomes easier to think that the worst will occur from the beginning rather than facing it down the road.
22. Habitual remedies, from mild to severe, might be a habit of unhappy individuals.
People with depression still like to keep a routine; that way, they can continue exerting some control over their lives. Even if someone is taking medication and seeking therapy for their depression, there are habits they’re going to practice in their everyday lives to keep moving in the right direction. It could simple patterns such as going for walks simultaneously every day, listening to music or doing exercise. It’s these simple exercises that keep them out of falling into those sinking feelings again that serve as the lifesavers to stop them from focusing on intrusive thoughts.
We all have habits or hobbies that we enjoy or take part in for our overall health and well-being. Some of us work out daily or participate in sport activities to relieve some stress and have some structure to our days. Unhappy individuals are no different. They are likely to have habits that they look forward to or provide them with a sense of structure.
Lying to close family and friends become a natural habit for unhappy individuals. Pixabay
21. It becomes normal to use cover-up stories.
Depressed people most time don’t want other people to know the truth, so they become experts at covering things up. They make up stories about their behavior, their change in appearance, or why there are scars on their arms. This need to distract from the truth is dangerous; it makes it hard for other people to determine that they need help, especially if they don’t know what to look for. Moreover, by the person playing it off as nothing, they’re also not accepting that they’re at a low point and should be looking for help.
While they may understand that they are feeling unhappy, these people may be failing to dive into the root cause or causes and how they can heal. For someone unhappy for a long time, they may be less willing to seek help because they have gotten used to their lifestyle. Seeking help or being willing to work through those root causes will require much self-reflection and facing demons they may not want to.
The perception of reality, including life and death, can become altered. Pixabay
20. Sad individuals tend to have a heightened perception of life and death.
Not very many people understand that depression doesn’t always lead to suicide. After all, that’s all we hear about in the news. However, what depression does is skew one’s perception of life and death. The concept of one’s mortality usually comes to mind during moments of crisis or desperation. Also, with the fluctuation of moods, going in and out of these mindsets frequently can make these thoughts more prevalent.
The waves of unhappiness can often go as quickly as they come. With those waves comes heightened perceptions of mortality, and those thoughts may cross their mind. However, once the wave passes, those thoughts may subside, at least for a little while. It can be challenging for unhappy individuals to navigate those reoccurring waves, especially not knowing when the next one will occur.
Different substances, such as sugar, can be used to increase the mood. Pixabay
19. Unhappy individuals have an intense understanding of substances.
Someone in control of their depression will be more adamantly aware of what’s going into their bodies. They may express a level of knowledge about substances that seems higher than the average person should have. They’re aware that sugars and caffeine are uppers for their moods and what medications will affect them. They know what medications they shouldn’t be mixing with foods, too, to cause an adverse reaction. It’s a responsibility they realize they can’t share with anyone else as they have to take care of their own minds.
They may always be searching for something more. Pixabay
18. Individuals may always be searching for a purpose.
Many of those who are depressed are searching for a purpose or meaning in their lives. They need to find something that they consider worthwhile doing to feel like they’re moving in the right direction. This notion is because feelings of inadequacy and fear are active in the depressed mind, which they yearn for validation of some kind in their activities. It’s their way of trying to make themselves happy that doesn’t involve seeking help from others.
The purpose they are seeking may look like landing their dream job, which gives them a sense of waking up in the morning, or it may be a hobby that they can excel at naturally. The feeling of a bigger purpose helps curb the feelings of loneliness or uneasiness.
As with finding a purpose, they’re also trying to find love and acceptance from those around them. They may strive to be a people-pleaser so that other people will like them. Also, it’s that seeking love and acceptance that they hide their inner demons. They want to be attractive to other people so that they can be seen as a friend. Not everyone is equipped to deal with the ugly head of depression, so it’s kept hidden to spare others from that discomfort. The goal is not to be dishonest but to appear as the best version of them possible.
Unhappy individuals have conflicting feelings of wanting to disconnect and distance from others while also wanting to feel like they are part of something. They want to feel connected to their family and friends and like they are wanting. However, it can be challenging as feeling too engaged can be overwhelming and cause them to feel out of control.
Asking for help may not be so clear, and often, unhappy individuals do not know how to ask for help. Pixabay
16. There may be subtle cries for help.
When you think of a depressed person, you think of someone that wants to be alone all the time and doesn’t want to talk to anyone. That’s partly true. Depressed people may generally pull away from other people most of the time, but there are some instances where their depression becomes too much to deal with on their own. Look for those moments when they choose to open up and talk about their conditions. These are the most crucial times where they’re crying for help. Try to meet them halfway but don’t react with anger. That will make them withdraw and not want to talk about it ever again.
Someone who is unhappy and wanting help may not know how to go about it. The sad individual may worry that saying they need help is a sign of weakness. He or she might also be embarrassed. Sometimes, talking aloud about what is going on inside can be the first step in facing their realities. Lastly, they may be worried about being judged. Even if you do not understand what they are going through, welcome the conversation with grace; you should make every effort to listen to what they are saying. You may not have all of the answers, but it can be a substantial first step in the right direction if they feel supported.
15. Individuals may make lifestyle changes to cope with their feelings.
If you know someone who doesn’t exercise regularly and then see them suddenly start going for a job every day, they could be dealing with depression independently. Engaging in some activity makes it easy for them to focus on something else other than their moods. Engaging in these activities helps to release endorphins, which can make the body feel better overall. This rush can cause them to seek it out more and more so that they start engaging in these activities more often.
If someone is making positive lifestyle changes by eating healthier or working out, be their biggest cheerleader. Please encourage them to do what makes them feel good. Do not shame them or question their motivation as it may not be something they are ready or willing to discuss.
Hiding from problems can be a common tactic for someone unhappy. Pixabay
14. Unhappy individuals may avoid all or certain aspects of their lives.
People with depression can sometimes choose to avoid everything. People, places, and even essential appointments they have don’t want anything to do with anything. This can significantly affect their lives, as they also skip paying their bills or going to classes. Depression is a horrible, cruel monster that makes it easy for people’s lives to be ruined. Avoiding regular activities and seeing people make it easier for them, as they don’t have to pretend that everything is okay. Especially on those exhausting days when everything feels like too much, they may choose just to sleep all day instead.
An unhappy individual may not realize that avoiding all or certain aspects of their lives is further feeding the unhappiness. It can be too difficult to muster up the energy to face daily life tasks or responsibilities. Unhappy individuals may struggle with keeping a job, maintaining friendships, or keeping up with household tasks.
Focusing on specific items or tasks may be a habit of unhappy individuals. Pixabay
13. They may have compulsive behaviors due to their unhappiness.
Many people with depression can start taking up compulsive, obsessive behaviors. Again, this is the need to control their lives that they felt have spiraled out of control. Some people may take multiple showers a day just because it’s the only way they know how to relax and feel good. In contrast, some people may engage in harmful behavior, such as trichotillomania (pulling out hair).
Many unhappy individuals may feel that their minds are racing with a lot of different thoughts. To help combat the chaos that they may be feeling in their mind, they tend to focus on specific items or tasks. By focusing on specific tasks, even for just a little moment, they not only have control over what they are doing, but it can help them feel better. While some of these compulsive behaviors can be harmless, others can be harmful to physical or mental well-being.
These behaviors may be difficult to notice at first, if you don’t spend much time around that person. However, if you’re aware of what their normal day-to-day lives are like, then you’d have a better understanding of what seems out of the ordinary.
They may tend to keep people at a distance. Pixabay
12. Unhappy individuals will steer conversations away from themselves.
When people are depressed, the last thing they want to do is talk about them. They don’t want to admit to others that their lives are less than perfect and that they’ll be judged for their behavior or not reaching out for help. That’s why they tend to conversations more towards other people than themselves. They prefer actively listening to people’s lives than contemplating their own and how screwed up everything seems to be. Alternatively, worse, having to put those feelings into words and hoping they’re not judged for them.
Talking to others about what is going on in their lives can be overwhelming. Not only does it potentially require them to talk about their feelings or what is going on in their life, but it can also be a trigger for comparison. We live in a society where social media has been known to contribute to comparing and unhappiness with our own lives. It’s essential to keep in mind that people generally do not post about the challenges or sad times. Instead, they are posting highlights in their daily lives. By talking about themselves, it can further add to comparing that their life may not be as fulfilled as someone else’s. While they may know deep down that not everyone’s life is as perfect as it seems, it can be challenging to accept.
People who live with depression tend to have a very low sense of self-esteem. They see themselves as below other people and not worthy of their attention. That’s why most people find it hard to make eye contact with other people during a conversation. They tend to look down or at anything else that’s in the room that they can focus their gaze on. It makes it easier for them to keep separated from the person they’re speaking with.
Eye contact is often used to bring the two individuals together and show that you are actively engaged in the conversation. While unhappy individuals often feel beneath others and have low self-esteem, they may want to distance themselves from others. They may be dealing with internal thoughts and cannot focus on the conversation in front of them actively.
Sometimes expressing your feelings can lift a weight off of your shoulders. Pixabay
10. Unhappy individuals may react to things, both unexpectedly and negatively.
Dealing with depression can be a tiring experience. There are explanations for every aspect of your life, not wanting people to discover the truth, and trying to figure out how to fix the problem on their own. Handling all of this by themselves builds up over time that when the smallest thing happens, that breaks the camel’s back, it’s interpreted as overreacting. This sudden outburst is a sign that something is wrong and that they’re overwhelmed with something. It’s more than just being in a bad mood.
Unhappy individuals may struggle internally that they often do not wish to discuss with others for fear of judgment or embarrassment. On the other hand, if loved ones in their lives are genuinely unaware of what they are going through, they may not ask questions, leaving the unhappy individual carrying their thoughts and feelings alone. It can be complicated to reach out and ask for help. If unhappiness builds from one day to the next, there is bound to come a time when it is just too much to handle. This feeling may come in the form of a disruption in their planned activities or someone who is forced to do something they are not comfortable with. The unexpected interruption or change in the course can prove to be overwhelming. If the change had occurred on any other day, it might not be as big of a deal, but after time, it becomes too much, and to someone unaware of lingering feelings, it can appear to be an overreaction.
9. They may be more likely to disappear for long periods.
Someone dealing with depression and trying to deal with it on their own may disappear for long periods. They may choose to disappear for a while, either by staying at home or going on a sudden drive somewhere without telling anyone. Coming to terms with depression on their own can become overwhelming that they need to take a break from everything else to stop themselves from falling apart. If you notice this pattern in someone you know, it may be time to intervene to see if everything is okay.
Social interaction can be incredibly overwhelming and draining to an unhappy individual. Although others may not be aware of what they are dealing with, low individuals may feel completely alone and disengaged. They may not feel connected to others, even their own family and friends. It can further enhance their feelings of being alone with their thoughts. In an attempt to sort through or come to terms with those thoughts, the unhappy individual may take some time to be by themselves. It is vital to check on friends and family from time to time to see how they are doing. Sometimes that extension is all others are looking for.
Unhappy individuals tend to reserve their harshest judgment for themselves. There is no greater pill to swallow than that of self-contempt. However, they are also extremely critical of those around them and the situations they face. Finding ways to judge others keeps individuals in the negative mindset essential in sustaining an unhappy lifestyle. Focusing on others and what they may be doing wrong helps them not feel alone when criticizing themselves. Situations are often condemned to find the negative as well.
Sometimes, it is more comfortable to focus on what is going wrong rather than look for what is going right. Also, looking for the positive in any aspect of life is not a practice in their daily lives. It is easier for them to resort to their habits and what comes second nature to them, which tends to be focusing on the negatives. While they often feel alone and compare their lives to others, being critical of everyone and everything creates some similarities and connections that they otherwise do not have. It is difficult not to over-analyze others, including the decisions and actions they are taking.
One common habit of those who are unhappy is constant worrying. Sad individuals often look at life as the glass is half-empty, rather than half-full. Doing this can create a negative mindset and instill fear and worry in every situation, no matter how big or small. Something as simple as driving to work can generate worry in an unhappy person. Happy individuals tend not to worry as much and have faith that everything will be okay. On the contrary, those who are unhappy tend to worry more often and do not believe that things will be okay. Instead, they think about all that can go wrong.
From the minute they wake up in the morning until the minute they lay down to go to sleep at night, they spend much time worrying about what is coming next. Also, their worrying nature can contribute to their unusual or unhealthy sleeping habits. It is not easy to turn their minds off. It is more than average worries. Many people may worry about a terrible snowstorm or their loved one who is undergoing surgery. Unhappy individuals tend to worry about every aspect of their day, from what they will wear that day or what they will eat for dinner. The constant worrying can exacerbate feelings of sadness or unhappiness.
Unhappy individuals tend to run from uncertainty and, instead, desire control over every little detail. They worry their world will fall apart if they lose control and neglect to embrace the unpredictable nature of life. Struggling to take charge of every piece of life can be very consuming and can further lead to unhappiness. Individuals who are continually worrying about controlling every aspect of their day are less likely to be present and enjoy life moments.
In addition, when an unhappy individual sees others that appear happy and fulfilled in life, it can look like they are in full authority over every aspect of their lives. There may be a perceived correlation between control and happiness. Those unhappy individuals may seek out power in an effort to achieve feelings of joy. It takes a conscious effort to accept that not every aspect of life is controllable slowly, and part of working towards happiness means embracing those uncontrollable moments.
For unhappy individuals, life is often viewed as a constant battle that has to be fought every day of every year. Reality is perceived as harsh and dangerous, which is only out to harm them. Life is ultimately viewed as one long struggle day in and day out. That can be tough to see and appreciate the ups and downs of life. It can also be arduous to understand that others also experience the highs and lows of life. Instead, unhappy individuals may feel that they are the only ones struggling with the terrifying, downward slope furthering their unhappiness.
If they feel that they are alone in the daily struggles, it further contributes to their unhappiness. They may also be more inclined to close themselves off from others or be unwilling to talk about what is going on because they might feel that no one can understand or relate to them. Additionally, if someone communicates their struggles to the unhappy individual, they may feel the need to one-up them and try to add how their life is worse off. It is essential to understand that many people are dealing with specific challenges privately or have dealt with past issues.
4. Their talk tends to revolve around gossip and negativity.
Part of who you are as an individual is what you say about and to other people. The conversation of someone with low spirits is often based around gossip or expressing how awful their life is. The focus tends to revolve around what is going wrong rather than what is going right. It can be challenging to maintain conversations that require deeper thinking. Unhappy individuals are typically more comfortable sticking with superficial level conversations. When in this mindset, it can be easier to think and talk about all that is wrong rather than finding what is going right.
When an unhappy individual does communicate about how bad their life is or what is going wrong, they may be looking for validation. They may be more willing to open up and communicate if the receiving party agrees that life is difficult, and they have it hard. Since it is more difficult for an unhappy individual to think or speak positive thoughts, they may not react well to another party who only speaks and thinks positively. They are more likely to gravitate towards another individual that also focuses on gossip and negativity, which they feel they can relate to more. However, it is crucial to be mindful and not get caught up in these conversations as it only creates further sorrow.
3. Unhappy individuals often compare themselves to others.
While we are all unique individuals who must walk our own paths in life, unhappy individuals may have a habit of comparing themselves to others—being unique means that our vision of what success looks like is different from others in our lives. Although comparison can be a habit for many people, those with some degree of unhappiness tend to focus on comparing their lives to those of others more often.
In today’s society, social media can be dangerous. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all highlight reels. However, it can be difficult for unhappy individuals to understand that fully. Many people with social media do not post their struggles. However, for someone sad and scrolling through one of these social media applications, it is easy to see that others appear to live their best lives. They may see images or posts of engagements, weddings, purchasing a home, or having a child. If the unhappy individual is struggling in one of those areas or still working towards it, it can quickly become a comparison of why they have yet to achieve it like everyone else. It can be difficult for individuals to appreciate what they do have as they will always view others as being better off than them.
2. They tend to fill their voids with material items.
In addition to making comparisons to others, unhappy individuals may try to fill their void by spending money on material items. Purchasing material items can be a defense mechanism when trying to maintain an image with their peers and project a vision of a successful, happy individual. Unhappy individuals may believe that wearing name brand clothing or driving the nicest car signals to others that they are happy and satisfied with their lives. They may also feel that if they are not portraying an unhappy image by the way they live or items they purchase, others may not question them, and they will not have to explain themselves.
In addition to attempting to maintain a particular reputation to others, purchasing material items can provide an exhilarating moment of satisfaction for a few moments. Despite knowing that these feelings may fade, unhappy individuals may tend to fill their lives with possessions in hopes; it will eventually aid in their happiness.
To achieve things in life, you may need drive, motivation, and persistence. Unhappy individuals may lack in those aspects and often give up on tasks quicker due to fear of failure. It may be easier to accept defeat when you have not given it your all compared to when you put your everything into it. Individuals who view life as hard work don’t expect to succeed as often as someone who has a more cheerful outlook. Rather than facing disappointment or failure, the individual will decide to give up first.
Unhappy individuals will choose to give up before failure is even an option. That may mean that they get a quarter or half of the way through a task or project before they quit. However, to maintain control of the situation and their life, they may choose to stop the moment failure is a possibility. They struggle to realize that the path to success is not always linear and is often composed of many highs and lows. They may lack persistence and only be willing to complete tasks that have a definite positive outcome.